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Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
A HISTORY OF ATLANTA
Prepared by Citizens of Atlanta
As a Part of the Observance of the
Centennial, June 11, 12 and 13, 1953
THE PUBLICATION IS SPONSORED BY
THE ATLANTA WOMAN'S CLUB
The Stewart - Finks Publishing- Co.
ATLANTA IS FOUNDED
The coming of the Chicago & Alton railroad through Central Illinois
gave impetus to the founding of many cities and villages along its right of
way. With visions of rapid growth and resulting financial profits to the
promoters, lands were acquired, surveyed and divided into lots and blocks.
Such was the beginning of Atlanta.
THE TOWN OF NEW CASTLE
When Atlanta was first laid out, there existed a short distance to the
southeast a town which was known as New Castle. The town was platted
on Section 28 of present Atlanta township by Timothy B. Hoblit and James
Allen, December 2, 1836. It was located on the old stage line between
Springfield and Bloomington and boasted of several stores, a blacksmith
shop and several residences. The Baptists had built a church here in 1839.
The following list of names is found subscribed to a petition for the
sale of school lands in the Congressional township in 1841 and indicates
the settlers in and around New Castle at that early date: Samuel Hoblit,
William Gard, Thomas Larison, William Bonine, Samuel Bevan, Henry
Hornaker, John E. Hoblit. John Druley, Ezekiel Hedges, Benjamin Ship-
ley, Isaac A. Dunagan, J. D. Tinney, James Shipley, Adam Stephens,
Fleming Lynch, W. H. Seward, A. K. Martin, James Hedges, Harvey
Turner, James Downey, Sylvester Strong, Samuel Jones, William Houch-
ins, William Foley, Cornelius Lambert, Andrew Fogg, John Wintine, Elisha
Bushnell, Jesse Dobby, J. P. Dunham, Joseph M. Cantrall, John Cline,
O. T. Crawford, James Barr, Zebulon Cantrall, M. S. Bushnell, Edwin E.
Bushnell, John Miller, William Dyer, George Dyer, Henry Williams,
Raymond C. Rathbone, Charles Council, Noah Snedaker and Sampson
Rees. Soon after Atlanta was laid out, New Castle was abandoned and
the stores, people and the church moved into Atlanta.
The proprietors of the new town were Richard T. Gill, Morgan Wil-
liams and Calvin Riley, but Mr. Gill was the chief promoter. He had come
to Illinois in 1840 and located in Pekin, Tazewell county, where he was
sheriff from 1846 to 1850.
In 1852, he came to Logan county, and early in 1853, having ascer-
tained that the Alton and Sangamon Railroad was to be extended from
Springfield to Bloomington, he bought the land on which Atlanta now
stands. This land was originally acquired from the government by a land
patent by Lemuel Evans, as assignee of Benjamin Thompson. Thompson
had served as a private in the United States Army and consequently had
acquired a grant to this land which is legally described as the W 1 /^ of the
NE*4 and the EV 2 of the NW*4 of Sec. 20, Township 21N, Range 1 W. of
the Third P. M.
The new town was named Xenia. The survey was made March 22,
1853, the town was dedicated April 7, 1853, and the first sale of lots at
auction was June 23. 1853. It received its name at the suggestion of Mrs.
James Downey, who had come from Xenia, Ohio. It continued to be called
by this name until 1855 when upon application for a post office it was
found that an office by that name already existed in Illinois. The founders
of the town thereupon changed the name to Hamilton in honor of Col. L.
] D. Hamilton, but when applying for a post office under this name were
J met with the same difficulty.
: > »
Richard T. Gill
Finally, Richard T. Gill, remembering the beauty of Atlanta, Georgia,
which he had recently visited, suggested that the new town be called
Atlanta, and the name was adopted. A short act passed by the Legislature,
February 14, 1855, states: "That from and after the passage of this act,
the name of the town of Xenia in Logan County shall be and the same is
changed to Atlanta."
During the first few years of its history, Atlanta gave promise of
fulfilling the hopes of its founders. Atlanta was truly a boom town. At
the end of 1854, when the town was little more than a year old, there
were one hundred houses and the population was about 500. It had five
dry goods stores, two drug stores, two grocer and confectionery stores,
one hotel and four grain warehouses.
The year 1855 witnessed increased building activity with the erection
of 155 houses, and the houses built in 1856 exceeded the number built the
previous year. In June, 1856, Editor S. B. Dugger, of the Logan County
Forum, listed eleven dry goods stores, three clothing stores, one book
store, one banking house, four furniture stores, one hardware store and
agricultural warehouse and seed store, two hardware tin and stove stores,
five grocery and provision stores, four grain warehouses, one boot and
shoe store, two millinery stores, two tailor shops, three hotels, two livery
stables, two saddlery and harness stores, two jewelry stores, two tailor
shops, one cabinet shop, two wagon and carriage shops, three blacksmith
shops, one steam flour mill, one steam planing mill and sash factory, one
printing office, two bake shops and one drinking saloon. There were four
attorneys, seven physicians, four ministers and one dental surgeon.
Atlanta appears to have reached its high point at the end of four years
(the spring of 1857). The population then was probably between 1,200
and 1,300. During these years, Atlanta was a far more enterprising and
growing town than Lincoln and had a larger population. However, Lincoln
had been chosen the county seat, and following the depression of 1857
forged rapidly ahead while Atlanta's population remained stationary.
FIRST TOWN ELECTION
Following the incorporation of Atlanta under the town form of gov-
ernment on February 14, 1855, the first election was held April 2, 1855.
Richard T. Gill was chosen President of the Board of Trustees. The other
trustees elected were A. N. Dills, A. K. Martin, William P. Hunt, William
S. Leonard and Cornelius Lambert. The Board met for the first time on
April 7, when they named the following officers: John H. Ball, Clerk;
Elsa H. Dunagan, Constable; H. Armington, Street Commissioner.
The town government was used until by a special act of the Legisla-
ture, approved March 4, 1869, a charter was obtained creating the city of
Atlanta. This act was to take effect upon its adoption by the voters. A
vote was taken on the proposition March 16, 1869, there being 173 votes
favorable to city organization and 19 against. A special election was held
March 23 for the election of city officers with the following result: Mayor,
Samuel H. Fields; clerk, J. Henry Ball; marshal, J. B. Ransdell; treasurer,
L. James; assessor and collector, S. D. Fisher; attorney, William E. Dicks;
street commissioner, J. Finfrock. The charter provided for three wards,
with one alderman to each ward. Aldermen elected were: First ward,
W. P. Hunt; second ward, George Estabrook; third ward, E. Stewart.
wt* — r
ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND ATLANTA
Abraham Lincoln was well known to several of Atlanta's pioneer
families. Some of the earliest contacts were the friendships formed during
the years when Lincoln was a circuit riding lawyer, travelling the stage
road between Bloomington and Springfield. The course of that portion
of the Stage road which passed through Atlanta Township was recorded,
in detail, by the late John L. Bevan, for many years an Atlanta attorney,
in a Letter written March 15, 1917 to Judge Lawrence B. Stringer. The
road entered Atlanta Township at a point near Gordon's bridge, almost
due south of the east boundary of the city of Atlanta. It ran in a north-
easterly direction, crossing Clear Creek, a branch of Kickapoo, near the
Roach Cemetery. The road continued north from this point, across the
fields, until it emerged at the location of the Lincoln memorial marker
on the oast west road which is the north boundary of Atlanta Township.
Bevan wrote that the old road bed could be seen part of the way and that
he thought the old trail could be followed its entire length. He remem-
bered, too. having seen stages passing on the old road just south of where
New Castle was then located.
It was on the old stage road that Samuel Hoblit built the two story
house in which he often entertained Abraham Lincoln, David Davis, Judge
Treat and others equally well known, when on their way to and from
Bloomington and Springfield. The house was situated west of the stage
road, just north of the Roach Cemetery, and a little south of the road
running east from the north edge of the City of Atlanta. The house stood
until 1942, when it was torn down.
Illinois was divided then, as it is now, into judicial districts. Each
was presided over by a judge, who traveled from one county-seat to
another within his jurisdiction. At this time there were only nine judicial
districts; consequently each district comprised a much larger area than
do those of today. The judge was accompanied on his rounds by members
of the local bar. The custom of riding a circuit was a necessity for a
lawyer in those early periods since there was not enough legal business
in any one of the small communities to support a lawyer. Later, during
Lincoln's second partnership with Herndon, however, the work was not a
matter of necessity but of choice. Lincoln liked the freedom of the road.
He made friends at every place he stopped and had a close acquaintance
with men of all sorts.
SPEECH IN ARMINGTON'S HALL
Emmanuel Hertz in his "The Hidden Lincoln" quotes from a letter
written by William H. Herndon to Jesse W. Weik, dated Springfield, Illi-
nois. November 22. 1888.
"Daw Littler tells me this additional story. During some of the polit-
ical canvasses, the people in Logan County, Illinois, just north of this
county and adjoining it, had determined to have a large meeting, a grand
rally, and had appointed the day and the hour. When the day and the
hour arrived, the heavens opened up with a terrific storm; it blew in hur-
ricanes and rained in torrents. Only about twenty persons appeared.
Lincoln had felt this sting of disappointment and therefore he did not wish
others to be disappointed. After some reflection he said: Boys, the day
is bad, too bad for many people to appear here to hear me speak, but as
you have dared the storm to hear a speech, you shall not be disappointed.
Come, let us go over to Armington's Hall and I'll give you a talk such
as I have."
The twenty went over to the hall and Littler, telling Herndon of the
speech said that it was cool, dispassionate and learned. In a note added
at the end of his letter Herndon wrote: "The place, village, at which the
speech was made was Atlanta, Logan County, Illinois."
It seems probable that Armington's Hall was the three-story brick
building referred to in the June 19, 1856 issue of the Logan County
Forum, now in the possession of P. A. Crihfield of Atlanta. It was built
by H. Armington and is thought to have been located where the Argus
Office is now. This visit to Atlanta was made in 1856, during the Free-
PRACTICING THE FREEPORT SPEECH
During Lincoln's campaign for the United States Senate in 1858 he
stumped Illinois in a series of debates with his Democratic opponent,
Stephen A. Douglas. At this time Lincoln was Counselor for Richard T.
Gill, who had laid out the town of Atlanta. On August 26, 1858, the
day before his famous Freeport speech, Lincoln stopped in Atlanta to
advise Gill concerning some legal matters.
The late Dr. G. M. Angell, long a practicing physician in Atlanta,
related the following to the late Roy H. Crihfield: "Gill then owned a
large frame building, the first floor of which was filled with a stock of
merchandise. I had an office on the second floor in front, while back of
my rooms was an apartment, which Gill and his partners used as a private
consulting room. When Lincoln had transacted his business with Gill, he
asked it there was any quiet place where he could go so as not to be
disturbed, for an hour or two, and said that he had to make a speech at
Freeport the next day and wanted to think over what he was going to say.
Gill took him to the consulting room, back of my office. A little later I
heard a voire, in a vigorous tone, begin 'Judge Douglas says' and then
followed a speech to an imaginary audience. Gill came quietly up the
stairway and whispered, 'Listen to Lincoln, he's practicing his Freeport
speech.' Gill and I both listened to him a while. When, a few days later
we secured a printed account of the great debate at Freeport, between
Lincoln and Douglas, we recognized, at once, those portions of the address
which Lincoln had delivered in Gill's back room in Atlanta."
James Hart, formerly of Atlanta, now of the Bloomington Pantagraph,
has a letter from C. W. Gill, son of Richard T. Gill, dated March 10, 1941,
in which he writes that he remembers that his father and those who helped
Photograph of ambrotype of Abraham Lincoln
in the store told of Lincoln's rehearsing his speech in the room over the
store, his tramping back and forth and talking in a loud voice which could
bo heard downstairs.
THE JULY 4, 1859 CELEBRATION
Atlanta citizens decided to celebrate the anniversary of the nation's
birth on July 4, 1859. A committee was appointed to secure a speaker
for the day. Rev. E. J. Thomas, chairman of the committee, wrote to
Lincoln asking him to come and speak on the occasion. Lincoln replied
that he was not good as a speaker for such an occasion and recommended
James H. Matheny of Springfield, who, he said, could make a good Fourth
of July speech and added that if Matheny agreed to come he would come
with him. Matheny agreed to speak. He came and Lincoln came with
The meeting was held at Turner's Grove, located on the property
adjoining the Atlanta Cemetery on the east and south. Rev. Thomas, in
recalling the occasion said that the day was cold and raw and that there
was a heavy frost. Paul M. Angle in his "Lincoln 1854-1861, Being the
Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln from January 1, 1854 to March
4. 1861" writes "Monday, July 4, 1859 ATLANTA. Lincoln attends a
Fourth of July rally." Angle quotes briefly from the Illinois State Journal
write-up of the celebration.
The Lincoln Herald of July 6, 1859 had this to say of the event: "The
booming of cannon opened the day. A vast crowd from the country
thronged the streets early. At ten o'clock, a procession was formed and
started for Turner's Grove, one mile distant, and we are informed that
when the head of the procession had reached the grove, the people were
still forming at the rear in Atlanta."
There was music by the Atlanta Band and the Atlanta Glee Club.
Rev. Thomas made an opening prayer, Dr. William T. Kirk, a local phy-
sician, read the Declaration of Independence and James H. Matheny made
the Fourth of July speech. After Matheny's address, Sylvester Strong
stepped forward and with a few words presented a cane to Lincoln, who
up to this time had taken no part in the exercises. Lincoln responded
briefly with well chosen words. Judge Stringer stated that the editor
of the Lincoln Herald, Mr. Dake, was present on the occasion and that he
probably wrote the following item which was published in the July 6, 1859
issue: "The cane is of South American orangewood, topped with North
American Buckthorn. It has a silver plate on top, bearing the words.
Presented by S. Strong.' Strong and Lincoln are said to have become
acquainted early in life, when each broke prairie, somewhere below
Springfield. Upon a silver band, below the middle of the cane, is the first
letter of Lincoln's name, and thence downward there is a knot for every
other letter of his name covered with a silver plate and Inscribed with
its appropriate letter. The silver plate work was executed by Dr. Perkins
and the engraving by H. O. Rodgers, both of Atlanta." Dr. George R.
Perkins was an Atlanta dentist whose address as given in the 1856 direc-
tory as the Logan House.
Mrs. Anna Strong Forgy, granddaughter of Sylvester Strong, telling
the story as she had heard it repeated many times, said: "Grandpa with
his cane sat on the platform with the speakers, and he was so impatient
to give Mr. Lincoln the cane that he hardly waited until the last words
were said." Mrs. Forgy said also that after Lincoln's death, she wrote
to Mrs. Lincoln, asking about the cane. Mrs. Lincoln wrote that it had
been given to a cousin and that she did not know where it was. It is not
known where the cane is now but it is thought to be in a collection of
Lincolniana in the east.
After the Fourth of July program Lincoln walked with Strong across
the field to the Strong home about a mile south of Atlanta, due south of
the Atlanta fair grounds. The house is situated in the pasture, about
fifty rods south of the east-west road. In the course of the conversation
Strong told Lincoln that he did not have a picture of him. Lincoln re-
plied, "Why is that? I will send you one when I go back home." Soon
afterward Strong received the picture. It was a small ambrotype believed
to have been taken by Preston Butler in Springfield in 1858. The picture
was borrowed in the early 1890s by Alfred Montgomery, an Atlanta resi-
dent quite well known in this vicinity for his paintings of corn. He sent
it to Ida M. Tarbell whose life of Lincoln was being published serially in
McClure's Magazine. A full page reproduction of the picture appeared in
the March, 1896 issue. The picture appears as No. 17 in the 1944 copy of
"Photographs of A. Lincoln" Frederick Hill Meserve and Carl Sandburg.
All trace of this ambrotype appears to have been lost.
In the evening of the day of the celebration an ice cream with
entertainment was held at the Congregational Church, at the corner of
Elm and Fifth Streets, now the location of the house purchased by School
District No. 20 to be the residence of the superintendent of schools. The
ladies of the church had planned the social for the purpose of obtaining
money to purchase pews for the new church building which had just been
completed. Both Lincoln and Matheny attended. During the evening
James Wren, a local baker, came forward to present to Lincoln a cake
he had baked for the occasion. He became embarrassed and stood before
Lincoln, holding out the cake, unable to utter a word of the speech he had
carefully planned. The situation became an embarrassing one, the speech-
less baker holding the cake before Lincoln, and apparently rooted to the
spot. Lincoln relieved the tenseness by saying to the group, "Well, I'm
not as hungry as I look." Everyone laughed, including the baker. Lin-
coln thanked the baker, turned around and presented the cake to the ladies
of the church. It was then sold at auction. Rev. Thomas bought it.
In the fall of 1859 Lincoln accepted an invitation from Gov. Chase of
Ohio to make a speech in Columbus. He asked Strong to accompany him
and he went. Lincoln took the cane with him on this trip.
When the news reached Atlanta that on May 18, 1860 the Republican
National convention had nominated Abraham Lincoln for president of the
United States there was an enthusiastic celebration. Cannons were brought
out and thirty-three rounds of ammunition were fired in honor of the
event. An organization of Lincoln "Wide-awakes" was formed in Atlanta
on June 22, 1860 to aid in the election of Lincoln and his running mate,
Hannibal Hamlin. A large banner of five feet ten inches long and four
feet ten inches wide was prepared by two local men, Reuben D. Neal and
R. N. Lawrance, to be carried in the Wide-awake parades. Neal was a
photographer and painter; Lawrance worked for him. On the left side
of the banner is the finely sketched likeness of Lincoln; on the right is
Hamlin, U. S. senator from Maine at the time of his nomination as candi-
date for the vice-presidency. The campaign symbols of the "Railsplitter"
candidate, the axe, maul and wedge are clearly seen on the banner and
the slogan, "THE NATION'S CHOICE" appears near the bottom of the
banner. Other banners were made to be used in the campaign but this
one seems to be the only one having the likenesses of both candidates.
It is said to have been placed at the head of the parade at the monster
rally at Springfield. August 8, 1860 which closed the campaign.
After the election of Lincoln, Lawrance removed the banner from its
stretcher and carefully preserved it. After service in the Civil War
Lawrance studied dentistry and after practicing elsewhere for several
years eventually opened an office in Lincoln. His son, Dr. E. P. Law-
rance, also a dentist later shared his office, and after the father's death
continued to practice there. About three years ago the banner, faded
and brown with the dust and decay of ninety years was restored and
framed. The breaks in the coarse cloth on which the picture was made
are visible but it is generally agreed that a good job was done restoring it.
Dr. E. P. Lawrance presented the banner to Lincoln College at the time
of their commencement in June, 1950. It now hangs on the north wall
of the Lincoln Room of Lincoln College.
THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN
When the news of the death of President Lincoln on April 15, 1865
reached Atlanta the horror and gloom which prevailed over the nation
were felt here. But there were, in addition, the grief and sorrow which
follow the loss of a personal friend. The funeral car, bearing the body of
Lincoln from Washington to Springfield reached Atlanta early on the
morning of May 3, 1865. A large number of people had assembled and
the train was met with muffled drum and portraits of Lincoln with em-
blems of mourning.
These memories of Lincoln, told and retold many times, are an im-
portant Atlanta heritage. The early settlers shared the sturdiness and
self-reliance which were characteristic of Lincoln. These stern qualities
are the background from which Atlanta has grown.
The early settlers In Atlanta Township preferred the timber to the
prairie. A characteristic of the settlement of the township was the stak-
ing out ot (Maims in the timber lands adjacent to the creeks. These pio-
neers came from a timbered country and, since they were accustomed
from childhood to seeing "clearings," the timber had more the appearance
of home and in addition furnished fuel and protection from the chilling
It was a common practice among the pioneers to clear the timber from
a small area, in one instance fifteen acres is mentioned, fence it, plow it
as well as they could among the roots and stumps, and plant it in corn
and pumpkins. They made a double use of the prairie grass; they used
that which made a moderate growth for hay, and that which grew in the
swamps and made a rank growth, for making shelter for their stock.
All hough the early settlers considered as ridiculous the idea that
oops could be grown on the prairie some of them began experimenting
with the cultivation of the prairie ground. To their surprise the prairie
produced almost twice as much per acre as the timber land. The prairie
regions offered advantages much superior to the timbered country. In
the timbered country a large amount of work had to be done to remove
the trees, and for many years after, the stumps prevented free cultivation
of the soil. In contrast to this, on the prairie the sod had only to be turned
and the crop put in. It was soon evident that this was to be an important
That the future of Illinois as an agricultural state had much to do
with bringing many of the early settlers here is indicated by the material
included in the book "Illinois As It Is," written in 1857 by Fred Gerhard
of New York. At this period there was a great mass of emigration from
Europe 1 and Gerhard was seeking to direct it to Illinois. He secured the
material for his book from letters written to him by early residents here
in reply to his letters asking for information concerning conditions in
Illinois. This book is considered of historical value. The University of
Illinois does not permit the copy there to be sent from the library and
the Illinois State Historical Library sends out one of their copies only by
This statement Is made bj Gerhard "The virgin soil, adapted b>
nature for Immediate culture, only awaits the plough and the seed, in
order to mature golden ears of the most beautiful corn. — No additional
fertilizer is needed; the soil consists of a rich black mould. — Illinois offers
the amplest guarantees for the rapid thriving and ultimate success and
we Hare ot those who may wish to establish for themselves a 'Home in
At an early date the prairie sod was broken by an ox team of six to
ten yoke with a heavy, unwieldy looking plow. The plow beam was
framed into an axle, on each end of which was a wheel sawed from an oak
log. Corn was planted by cutting a gash with an ax into the inverted sod,
dropping the corn and closing it with another blow beside the first. After
the farmer had gathered the year's crop of corn, with husks attached, he
had a husking bee. Friends came from miles around and after the husking
was completed an old time dance was held.
In the cultivation of wheat the plowed land was smoothed by drag-
ging brush over it. The wheat was sowed broadcast by hand and harrowed
in with brush. Either a sickle or a cradle was used to cut the wheat. The
wheat was then bound and shocked. When sufficiently cured it was taken
to some place on the farm convenient for threshing and there put into a
stack. The threshing was done by flail or tramping with horses. The
straw was cleaned by letting it fall from the height of ten or twelve feet
and letting the wind blow away the chaff.
Oats also were grown but there was no need for fields of timothy or
clover as the prairies yielded tons of hay which could be had for the cut-
ting. Little attention was paid to the rotation of crops since the rich soil
produced whatever was expected of it and most farmers, thinking it un-
necessary to pay any regard to the land, were under the impression that
they best guarded their interests by cultivating exclusively what com-
manded the highest price.
In one respect the early farmer had an advantage over the farmer of
today. His crops were not injured by insects. The prairie grass was set
on fire each year and all the country burned over so there was little hiding
place for insect life and the crops grew so rapidly on the new and fertile
soil that, if any destructive insects existed, the damage they did was so
small as not to be noticed. Numerous insects and diseases now invade
the farmers' fields of grain.
The horse was very important to the farmer until the 1940s when
many farms had become completely mechanized. In the 1880s trading
in horses was an important business. Many traders made trips to Europe
to buy horses to be shipped back and sold to the farmers. The breeding
of fine draft horses was also an important business. But since the 1920s
mechanized equipment has gradually replaced horse operated implements
until now there are many farms without a horse on them.
Early fences were the zig-zag rail fence and the board fence in which
two posts and three boards constituted a panel. But the fence most highly
recommended was the hedge fence and hedge plants were grown to be
sold to the farmers to be set out on their farms. This fence did not become
an effective fence until about four years after being finished so that an-
other fence was erected outside the hedge fence to serve during the in-
terval. The hedge fence, because of its luxurious growth above ground
and its extensive root system, prevented the planting of crops for several
feet at the edge of the field. As cultivation of the soil became more inten-
sive this became more and more of a handicap. Most of the hedges have
been pulled and replaced with fences of other types. The barbed wire
fence has been used on many farms. It takes up very little space and
has this additional advantage; it can be taken up and used in another
place if desired. The latest fence to come into use is the electric fence.
A single wire is attached to a source of electricity and when an animal
touches it he receives enough of a shock to discourage a further attempt
to break through.
Improvements were begun early to make farming a science and a
business. Agricultural societies, schools and experiment stations have
studied practically every phase of farm life, and scientific principles have
been applied to the solution of farm problems. The changes which have
taken place in agriculture rival those which have taken place in industry.
In the past fifty years there has been an agricultural revolution. The
revolution has many phases — machinery, new livestock, insecticides, irri-
gation, fertilizers. Machines have changed the every day life of the
farmer — automobiles, tractors, hay balers, combines, corn pickers, elec-
tric milking machines and many others which are not directly connected
with farming but which make living on the farm more attractive. Farm-
ing is now a complicated business requiring a rather large investment and
involving many risks over which the farmer has no control.
As interdependence between the city and the farm became more pro-
nounced, the rural communities lost their isolation. There was a time
when living in the country was a lonely life. Farm women were diffident
and farm children were timid and bashful because they seldom met anyone
outside the family. Today farm people have a full social and cultural
life. They take advantage of the good roads. They go more and mingle
with people of all businesses and professions. Through their many organ-
izations rural people are building a new social life adapted to these times
and as full of pleasure as the husking bees, threshing rings, sausage mak-
ings, apple parings, quilting bees, aleigfa rides and singing schools of other
CHICAGO & ALTON RAILROAD
As previously stated, Atlanta owes its beginning to the coming of the
Chicago & Alton Railroad. The Alton and Sangamon Railroad Company
was authorized by an act of the legislature of Illinois, passed Feb. 27,
1847, to construct a railroad from Alton to Springfield, a distance of 72
miles. Work on the road was commenced in 1849 and completed in 1852.
On Feb. 11, 1851, the legislature passed a bill extending the road to
Bloomington. As soon as the road was completed to Springfield in 1852
the work of pushing the road farther north was begun. The line reached
Atlanta in the fall of 1853.
In the meantime the name of the road was changed to the Chicago
& Mississippi Railroad. In 1855, the road was reorganized as the Chicago,
Alton and St. Louis Railroad and the original line was extended to Joliet,
being completed in 1856. At the same time, the line of the Joliet and
Chicago railroad was leased in perpetuity, making a through line from
Alton to Chicago. The name of the railroad was successively changed to
St. Louis, Alton & Chicago; Alton, Chicago & St. Louis, and finally to the
name, Chicago & Alton. Under this name, the system became one of the
main arteries between Chicago and St. Louis. In the 1930's, the railroad
came under the control of the Baltimore & Ohio system and later a part
of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio railroad, under which it is now operated.
An interesting chapter in the history of the Chicago & Alton railroad
in connection with Atlanta was its project in the early part of this century
to reduce the grade between Atlanta and Lawndale. The steep grade
added much to the expense of operating freight traffic, and trains which
could easily negotiate all other parts of the line became stalled on the
Atlanta-Lawndale hill. A "pusher" engine was used for many years to
help heavy trains up the grade, but this was an expensive and unsatisfac-
tory method of solving the problem. A contract was awarded the Patton
& Gibson Construction Co. to make a fill at the Lawndale end and a deep
cut through Atlanta. The plans called for the railroad to go through
Atlanta many feet beyow the level of the city streets, requiring viaducts
at several of the main crossings. For this disfigurement of the town, the
railroad offered many concessions, among which was the stipulation that
all passenger trains should make regular stops in Atlanta, a distinction
which the city enjoyed for many years.
However, the work of reducing the grade was never completed. After
many thousands of tons of earth were moved and the work was well
underway, the road became involved financially and today the large
mounds of earth north of Lawndalc are the only visible results of a project
which came to be known as "Felton's Folly." But modern inventive genius
solved the problem which caused the railroad so much trouble and expense
in the earlier days. The powerful diesel engines of the present day easily
haul up the Atlanta-Lawndale hill long freight trains which were unheard
of in the days of the steam locomotive.
PEORIA, ATLANTA AND DECATUR RAILROAD
Hie circumstances surrounding the financing and building of the
Peoria, Atlanta and Decatur Railroad proved to be an unpleasant and
costly chapter in the history of the Atlanta community. The affair is well
described in the Logan County history of the late Lawrence B. Stringer,
and we quote as follows from his version:
The Peoria, Atlanta and Decatur Railroad was incorporated by act
of the General Assembly, March 1, 1869. The incorporators were William
il. Hamilton, Valentine Dewein, John T. Lindsay, Robert G. Ingersoll,
Seth Talbot, A. N. Dills, H. Armington, W. S. Dunham, J. C. Prescott.
Thomas Smith, F. N. Ewing, James Millikin and J. J. Peddecord. The
capital stock was fixed at $100,000. A meeting was held in Atlanta.
April 17, 1869 to consider ways and means to advance the proposed road.
Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, of Peoria, who was attorney for the road, ad-
dressed the meeting. It was the sense of the meeting that Atlanta town-
ship should subscribe to the capital stock, to the amount of $50,000 and
bonds be issued therefor. The proposition was submitted to the voters of
• he township, June 16, 1869, and the bonds were voted by a margin of
265 to 29. Work began on the road in 1870, but was not completed until
the summer of 1874.
The Atlanta township bonds were issued and delivered to the com-
pany, but when the time came for the payment of taxes thereon, the com-
pany was met with a refusal to pay. It was claimed that the company
lad not complied with its part of the contract, that work on the road at
hat time had ceased, that the company did not intend to complete the
road, that the act of incorporation was illegally passed, and that the bends
had been taken by the company without the consent of the supervisor. All
iliis the company strenuously denied. In 1874, an injunction was applied
for to restrain the collector from collecting taxes to pay interest on bonds.
On trial, this injunction was dissolved. Finally, a compromise proposi-
tion, by which the township was to pay the bondholders $62,000. lor prin-
cipal .'Mid interest ol the bonds, was endorsed by the \oters at an election
The High Wheel Bicycle
hold in April, 1882, by a vote of 228 for and 72 against, and accepted by
the bondholders, and the matter was thus settled.
On Nov. 4, 1874, the Peoria, Atlanta and Decatur Company consoli-
dated its line with that of the Paris & Decatur and the Paris and Terro
Haute Railroad Companies, forming a continuous line from Peoria to
Torre Haute, Ind., and the consolidated lines assumed the name of Illinois
Midland. In 1886, the Illinois Midland was sold under foreclosure to a
syndicate of Indianapolis capitalists and was reorganized as the Terre
Haute and Peoria Railroad. In 1892, it was leased for ninety-nine years
to the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad, and for a short time was
also under the control of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis
System. Until the great Pennsylvania System took over the lines ox
January 1, 1921, it was known as a part of the "Vandalia System" and is
still so designated by many older people in this territory.
THE BICYCLE AGE
The last decade of the nineteenth century saw the bicycle emerge as
a popular means of personal transportation. The development of the
"safety" bicycle with pneumatic tires, in contrast to the high wheel type
of an earlier day, created a fad which swept the country. In Atlanta, the
Atlanta Bicycle Club was formed, and sedate Atlanta ladies donned
bloomers and divided skirts and in groups pedaled their wheels over the
dusty roads of the countryside. Bicycle racing became the rage, and a
race meet was held at the Atlanta Fair grounds in which riders of national
renown competed for prizes of watches and diamonds. Baby Bliss, the
ponderous fat boy from Bloomington was an attraction. Rivalry sprang
up among local racers. One that is still remembered culminated in a
match race between Fred Storrs and the late Marion Watt. After one
postponement, the race was run on a track at the east edge of Armington
with Watt the winner. Atlanta even had its own bicycle factory. Atlanta's
young mechanical genius, George W. Mclntyre, built sturdy machines
which were highly prized by their owners.
THE HORSELESS CARRIAGE ARRIVES
Atlanta people were introduced to the automobile through a chugging
little one-cylinder Oldsmobile, brought here in 1902 by James C. Shores,
and many still remember the thrill experienced in their first ride in this
primitive machine. Soon others followed the example of Mr. Shores, and
by 1910 the automobile was beginning to assume a role as a highly de-
sirable pleasure vehicle in the lives of a number of Atlanta people. It
was not until 1923, with the completion of the "hard road" (Illinois Route
4, later to become U. S. Route 66) that the automobile began to take its
place as a family necessity. With a year round outlet from the city, our
people quickly recognized the advantages and conveniences of this modern
means of transportation, and the automobile became an influence in
changing the daily living of our citizens, just as did the coming of the
tolophonc and Hoctricity in an earlier period.
FIRES IN ATLANTA
In the early days of Atlanta, most of the buildings were of wood, and
with no fire fighting facilities, disastrous fires were common. The first
Atlanta House was destroyed by flames in 1857. R. T. Gill's warehouse
burned January 9, 1861, including 7,000 bushels of corn and 1,200 bushels
of wheat. In 1865, fire again broke out and laid waste all the buildings
between Armington's block and Arch street. The same year, another
equally disastrous fire destroyed other buildings in the business section,
at which time the town records were unfortunately destroyed. A fire on
the nighl of April 25. 1867, razed W. Mix & Company's hardware store,
owned by Dr. Rankin; J. F. Hyde & Company's shoe store, owned by Alex
Downey; Allen's drug store, owned by W. E. Dicks; Shores, Dunham &
Company's store, loss $5,000, besides several other smaller buildings. A
fire engine was shipped in from Bloomington or the town would have
been destroyed. On July 7, 1867, another fire destroyed the remainder of
the block left standing from the fire of April preceding. This fire con-
sumed Leonard's grocery store, Graser's grocery store, Flugel's shoe shop,
Hicks & James warehouse, Seth Turner's warehouse, Dunlop's harness
shop. Mason's grocery, the Downey building, printing office and other
buildings. On July 11. four days afterward, E. H. Tuttle's warehouse
In 1872, the Baptist church burned, and on May 25, 1873, West, Fluss
& Company's planing mill was destroyed, at a loss of $7,000. The Arming-
ton three-story brick block burned on April 5, 1874, with a loss of $12,000,
and in November, 1876. Dills & Houser's warehouse burned.
Another series of fires began in 1882. On July 5th of that year, the
freight depot of the Illinois Midland railroad burned. The Turner & Tuttle
mills were destroyed by fire October 26, 1882. These mills were built of
brick and stone in 1868 by Harvey Turner and J. A. Hoblit at a cost of
$30,000. At the same time, Armington's elevator, with a capacity of
15.000 bushels of grain went up in flames. In 1885, Barnett's carpenter
shop and Hilpert's wagon shop were burned, and in November of the same
year the Cumberland Presbyterian church was consumed. On March 23,
1887, fire also destroyed a row of seven frame buildings on the corner of
Vine and Arch streets. The Grant house burned August 27, 1889.
With the establishment of a waterworks in 1892, and the acquisition
of some fire fighting equipment, disastrous fires became less frequent, but
the spectacular blazes which destroyed the "Blue Barns," located on the
present sites of the Willow Farms Dairy and Donald Menzel's home, on
September 6, 1896, and the large livery barn on Arch street, in the sum-
mer of 1900, are still remembered. The fire which destroyed the school-
house in the summer of 1908 was one of the most costly fires in the city's
Since the formation of the Atlanta Fire Department in 1926, fire
losses have been held to a minimum, a tribute to the department and to
the city, which has provided adequate facilities for combating the scourge
The first individual to attempt to publish a newspaper in Logan
County was S. B. Dugger, and he selected Atlanta as the scene of his
journalistic venture. The paper was known as the Logan County Forum,
and its first issue appeared in August, 1855.
S. B. Dugger and his brother, Jefferson L. Dugger, had been asso-
ciated in the publication of the Macoupin Statesman at Carlinville. Both
came to Atlanta in 1855, S. B. Dugger going into the newspaper business
and launching the Forum, and Jefferson Dugger becoming a member of
the mercantile firm of Gill & Co.
When the Atlanta boom subsided in 1858, Mr. Dugger discontinued
the Forum and moved west.
Afterwards one or two other newspapers were started, among them
the Logan County Journal in 1865, conducted by P. Casserly, but none
continued successfully save the Atlanta Argus, which was established in
May. 1869, by Albion Smith.
At the end of the year, Mr. Smith admitted F. B. Mills as a partner.
After a time, Smith & Mills sold to A. W. Briggs, of Rhode Island, and
he in August, 1874, sold to George L. Shoals.
It was during the Shoals ownership that the Crihfield family became
identified with the Argus. H. Crihfield started in as "devil" March 25,
1875 since which time he had continuous active connection with the paper
until his death in July 1935.
Mr. Crihfield purchased the plant from George L. Shoals in Novem-
ber, 1881, and in 1885 Robert C. Crihfield, a younger brother, was ad-
mitted as a partner. In 1908 the business was incorporated under the
corporate name of Crihfield Bros. Inc., and H. Crihfield's two sons, Philip
A. and Robert Eugene, were admitted to part ownership and active man-
agement in the business.
Robert C. Crihfield died in 1920; Robert Eugene Crihfield in 1925.
and Horace Crihfield in 1935, after which the business was operated by
Philip A. Crihfield until 1951, when it passed out of ownership in the
Crihfield family after a span of seventy years, with the sale of the business
to Sherman S. Stewart, of Mackinaw.
The issue of June 19, 1856 of the Logan County Forum; the issue of
September 3, 1857 of the Atlanta Weekly Forum; and an issue of the
Logan County Journal of December 15, 1865 arc in the possession of
Philip ,\. Crihfield
ATLANTA LODGE No. 165, ANCIENT FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS
Atlanta Lodge No. 165, A. F. & A. M., commenced work in Atlanta on
the evening of December 7, 1854 under a dispensation from the Grand
Lodge of the State of Illinois, of date November 23, 1854, with twelve
On October 2, 1855, the grand Lodge of the State of Illinois granted
to Atlanta Lodge a special charter. The first officers were Richard T.
Gill, Worshipful Master; Robert H. Killen, Senior Warden; George W
Rowell, Junior Warden; and Dr. J. B. Tenney, Secretary. There were
thirty-three charter members: Lewis Eichburgh; Jerome B. Tenney; A. J.
Thomas, Daniel Tenney, George W. Michaels, Orin H. Butler, George W.
Goodheart, Joseph Tidd, Samuel Eichburgh, George W. Angell, H. D.
Downey, John A. Druley, Mathew L. Fuller, Samuel Bevans, A. E. Forbes.
Abel Larison, T. B. Douglass, Elijah S. Wicklin, A. K. Martin, John V
McGahan, Abram Winsor, D. W. Winsor Jr., George L. Parker, Thomas
J. Larison, Daniel Proctor, Francis M. Tuttle, J. Henry Ball, James Lari-
son, Jackson Hukill and Meyer Friedman.
At the present time (1953) there are 142 members, including ono
thirty-third degree Mason, Judge Frank S. Bevan.
ATLANTA CHAPTER No. 188, ROYAL ARCH MASONS
Atlanta Chapter No. 188 R. A. M. was organized under dispensation
April 19, 1882. Its charter is dated October 27, 1882. The charter mem-
bers were W. T. Kirk, George F. Bennett, A. E. Church, J. G. Bourne.
A. W. Chenoweth, Julius W. Regents, John S. Perriton, S. H. Fields, A.
J. Ludlam, William Danenbaum, Dennis Kenyon, C. C. Aldrich and S. I.
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
Atlanta Chapter No. 881, Order of the Esatern Star, was instituted
March 17, 1922, with 25 charter members. Mrs. Muriel Selby was the
first Worthy Matron, and Robert S. Mclntyre, the first Worthy Patron
Other officers were: Mrs. Dora Mclntyre, Associate Matron; Miss Mar.
Thomson, Secretary; Dr. Maskel Lee, Treasurer; Mrs. Feme Crandali.
Conductress; Mrs. Eugenia Lee, Associate Conductress; Mrs. Emily Crih-
field, Chaplain; Joseph A. King, Marshall; Mrs. Sara Appenzeller, Or-
ganist; Mrs. Camilla Sheer, Adah; Mrs. Ema King, Ruth; Mrs. Edna Crih-
field, Esther; Mrs. Laurinda Watt, Martha; Mrs. Edna Reinmiller, Electa;
Mrs. Lillian Hamilton, Warder; Don Lee, Sentinel.
The charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. Horace Crihfield, Dr. and
Mrs. Maskel Lee, Don Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Crihfield, Mr. and
Mrs. Joseph A. King, Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Reinmiller, Mrs. Muriel Selby.
Miss Mary Thomson, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Crandall, Mr. and Mrs. Bert
Appenzeller, Mr. and Mrs. T. N. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Sheer.
Mrs. Laurinda Watt, Raymond Wagner and Mr. and Mrs. Robert S.
An outstanding attendance record was made by Robert S. Mclntyre.
who missed but two meetings during his 27 years in the chapter.
The present membership in 1953 is 123.
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS
In March 1855 twelve prominent business men of Atlanta met and
formed an organization that embraced the principles upon which Odd
Fellowship was founded. At this meeting, a petition was directed to the
Grand Lodge of Illinois. The petition was accepted and a dispensation
Logan Lodge held its first meeting on April 15, 1855. At the next
session of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, a charter was issued the new lodge
naming it Logan Lodge No. 176. The charter was signed by Grand Master
James E. Starr October 12, 1855, with Charles B. Van Horn as Noble
Grand and William Van Horn as secretary.
The charter members were James P. Mead, Charles B. Van Horn.
William Van Horn, Anthony N. Dills, John M. Gill, Louis Eichberg, J. M.
Tuttle, Jefferson Dugger, B. F. Dalzell, Andrew D. Downey, Isaac V.
Gray and J. M. Fisher.
DAUGHTERS OF REBEKAH
Whittier Lodge No. 242, Daughters of Rebekah, was instituted in At-
lanta, January 31, 1889, Mrs. Joseph Uhr being the first Noble Grand.
Later this lodge disbanded.
On April 6, 1917, the new Whittier Rebekah Lodge, No. 804 was
instituted by Mrs. Blanche Yancey, of McLean, who had been appointed
Special deputy by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
The degree was conferred by Nona Lodge of McLean, and the follow-
ing officers were elected: Noble Grand, Emma Mason; Vice Grand, Kath-
erlne Dreher; Secretary, Elizabeth Robinson; Treasurer. Hazel Miller.
Their were 38 charter members. 19 men and 19 women.
Charter members who are still active and still belong to the order are
Dell Dreher, Olive Baker and Hazel Miller. At the present time there are
ATLANTA CAMP No. 500, MODERN WOODMEN OF AMERICA
Records show that Atlanta Camp No. 500, M. W. A. was instituted
February 10, 1888, with the following officers: George I. McFarland,
Consul; J. W. Gordon, Clerk; C. A. Jones, Banker. Roy A. Colaw, present
clerk of Atlanta Camp, has served as secretary continuously since 1933.
DIANA CAMP No. 1148, ROYAL NEIGHBORS OF AMERICA
This camp was instituted September 20, 1898, and the charter was
granted October 12, 1898. The first meeting was held on Nov. 12, 1898,
at which time the officers were elected, a name for the camp was selected
and by-laws were adopted. The name, Diana, meaning Great Huntress
was chosen, and the following officers were elected: Anna Kearney,
Oracle; Sarah Morse, Vice Oracle; Ella Boosinger, Recorder; Mrs. J. D.
The charter members of this camp were: Horace Crihfield, Mrs. J. D.
Brock, Ella Boosinger, A. L. Moorehead, Etta R. Snyder, D. H. Rhodes,
Mrs. D. H. Rhodes, T. B. Reeves, Mrs. A. Fiddler, Ed Fiddler, Jennie
Vance, Hallie Vance, Philip Vance, W. W. Richmond, Alice Higgins, Helen
Kinser, William Kinser, James Williams, Zora Dagley, Nora Campbell,
Anna Kearney, F. S. Storrs, Sarah E. Morse, Theodore Reeves, Mollie
Corthon, D. G. Corthon, T. N. Hamilton, Mrs. Lillie Hamilton, C. A. Jones,
Mrs. C. A. Jones, B. I. Pumpelly, J. T. Webster, J. M. Gaines, James
Snyder, Mrs. J. T. Webster. Hattie Foley, James Dagley, Lieffie A.
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF GOOD TEMPLARS
Prairie Gem Lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars No. 265,
was organized during the month of March, 1856, by L. L. Bond, of Chicago,
G. W. S. of the State of Illinois. The first officers were S. B. Dugger,
Miss M. J. O'Brien, H. A. Angell, G. A. Colton, Mrs. Julia Burritt, A. H.
Forrest, A. B. Barron, C. H. Strathman, J. V. McGahan, Mrs. Sarah Lewis,
Mrs. C. M. Dugger, H. A. Clow, James Shores and J. Q. A. Lewis. Meet-
ings were discontinued in 1869.
March 2, 1896, the Good Templars Lodge was again organized and
for sometime was a flourishing order. The following officers were elected
and installed by W. H. Neel, Deputy: C. T., Mr. Smith; V. T.. Miss Nora
Martin; secretary, Miss Hattie Slack; F. S., D. D. Throop; treasurer, Miss
Hattie Mason; S. J., Mrs. Wikle; P. C. T., Prof. A. S. Patterson; M., Lewis
Holt; G., Eugene Steinaker; Sent., E. Langdon; Chap., Mr. Scott; A. S.,
Rev. E. J. Thomas; D. M., Miss Alice Stratton.
1 tilling this period, the W. C. T. U. flourished in Atlanta, and each
member of the Good Templars Lodge took a temperance pledge, even to
the extent of promising to abstain from drinking sweet cider.
CENTRAL LODGE No. 111, ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN
Central Lodge No. Ill, A. O. U. W., was organized March 25, 1878.
The first officers were J. C. Cole, Past Master Workman; S. B. James,
Master Workman; A. J. McLain, F.; Alfred Turner, O.; W. H. Mason,
Recorder; C. H. Turner, Financier; A. J. Reise, Receiver; M. L. Higgins,
G.; W. H. McGahan, I. W.; George Hoerr, O. W.
ATLANTA LODGE No. 108, INDEPENDENT ORDER OF MUTUAL AID
Atlanta Lodge No. 108, I. O. M. A., an insurance and fraternal order,
was organized January 13, 1881, with sixty-six members.
ACME LODGE No. 332, KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS
Acme Lodge No. 332, Knights of Pythias of Atlanta, Illinois, was insti-
tuted February 11, 1892. The first officers of the lodge were: C. C, Chas.
W. O'Connell; V. C, James H. Jones; Prelate, Oscar Hoose; Treasurer,
Levi Coons; Finance Secretary, John Ward; Secretary, Charles Holder;
M. A., Henry Dillon; I. G., George Maus; O. G., Robert Mclntyre.
The Lodge was instituted with twenty-nine members and had a peak
membership of one hundred members in 1910. The organization became
inactive in 1937.
ATLANTA TEMPLE No. 241, PYTHIAN SISTERS
Atlanta Temple, No. 241, Pythian Sisters was instituted March 16,
1914. The first officers were: Past Chief, Emma Mason; Most Excellent
Chief, Bessie Bevan; Excellent Senior, Fern Crandall; Excellent Junior,
Ada Cheatham; Manager, Dell Hoose; Mistress of Records and Corres-
pondence, Leiffie Weaver; Mistress of Finance, Cora B. Hitchell; Pro-
>r, [Catherine Dreher; Guard, Gertrude Kurth.
The organization is no longer activ
CHICKASAW TRIBE No. 277. IMPROVED ORDER OF RED MEN
Chickasaw Tribe No. 277, I. O. R. M., was organized in 1906 with 35
charter members, and was in existence about ten years. A Council of the
Daughters of Pocahontas was organized in 1914 and remained active for
about three years.
The Anti-Thief Society was organized in 1854, designed to protect
members and residents about town against all kinds of thieving. In 1869,
the laws of the society were revised and printed and more members were
added until the number reached 103. At that date, they had reported 39
horses and mules returned to their owners, out of 42 stolen, and a vast
amount of merchandise had also been recovered. Sixteen thieves had
been apprehended. The officers of the society at an early time were John
E. Hoblit, president; S. H. Fields, vice-president; Frank Hoblit, treasurer
and secretary; Smith Stroud, captain, and Abel Larison, lieutenant. The
existence of this society, its mode of decisive action and determination to
find the outlaw was one of the strongest safeguards the city of Atlanta
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
Atlanta Post No. 326, G. A. R., was mustered August 27, 1883, with
thirty-nine members and the following officers: Commander, F. J. Fields;
senior vice commander, H. C. Hawes; junior vice commander, Daniel
Gardner; quartermaster, A. P. West; chaplain, John Wikel; surgeon, W.
T. Kirk; officer of the day, J. W. Spindler; officer of the guard, James
Lambert; adjutant, James Ladew; sergeant major, A. W. Chenoweth;
quartermaster's sergeant, W. L. James.
The Post was active during the ensuing years, until death took its
toll of the veterans. The last member of the Post was Henry C. Hawes,
who passed away August 15, 1931.
An active organization connected with the G. A. R. Post and auxiliary
thereto was the Woman's Relief Corps.
KU KLUX KLAN
Atlanta also had its Ku Klux Klan. Organized in 1919, it is said to
have had a membership numbering almost two hundred. At a joint re-
vival meeting of the Christian, Methodist and Baptist churches in Atlanta,
the Klan made a public presentation of $300 to be divided equally among
the three churches.
HOTELS IN ATLANTA
The rapid early growth ol Atlanta brought many persons to town who
were without means of private board and lodging, and the hotel business
attracted some of the early arrivals as promising lucrative returns. By
June, L856, three hotels were listed in S. B. Duggers directory of Atlanta.
Perhaps the first was the Layton House on North Railroad street. Part
of this place is still standing and is the home of Mrs. Theodore Williams.
John Layton was an uncle of Mrs. Mattie Clay and Mrs. Ann Bowers, of
Atlanta. In 1856, James M. Cantrall was listed as the proprietor of this
A hotel at the corner of Vine and Railroad streets, known as the
Atlanta House, was built in 1855, but was destroyed by fire in 1857. Later
it was rebuilt and for many years was one of Atlanta's leading hotels.
Older citizens will remember it under the nickname of "The Blue Goose."
The Logan House was a four-story structure at the corner of Vine and
Church streets (now a vacant lot one block east of the Logan-Mason
service station). During the first days of Atlanta, Elza Dunagan built a
two-story boarding house on this site. In 1856, A. G. Colton purchased
the property and added two stories to the building. It was known as the
Logan House for many years, but the name was changed to the Grant
House by Ed Newman, who was the proprietor for a long time. It burned
August 27, 1889. This hotel at one time was considered the best in At-
lanta, but at the time of its burning the building had become almost a
The Coleman House, under the management of David L. Coleman,
was Atlanta's leading hotel during the 1880's and into the early years of
the twentieth century. Located at the corner of Vine and Arch streets
(now the site of the Logan-Mason service station) the Coleman House
was the scene of many social events and gatherings, as well as being
popular with the traveling public. With changing conditions, the hotel
business in Atlanta became less lucrative, and owners succeeding the
Colemans met with poor success. The property was finally sold to Acme
Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of Atlanta. The Lodge contemplated the
building of a three-story brick building, but the project did not materialize.
The Stemen building, just north of the site of the former hotel, is a part
of the old Coleman House.
At the present time. Atlanta's only hotel is operated by Mrs. Helen
Bates on Railroad street
Atlanta's First Hotel
THE OLD HOTEL
There's a house in town
With a history;
It's the old hotel
By the cottonwood tree.
And at one corner
If you notice well,
You can trace the name
Of the old hotel.
Twas a famous place
In the long ago —
Jim Currence says,
And he ought to know.
Around the fireplace
The boarders sat,
And passed the evenings
In social chat.
Who its builders were
I quite forget;
I know they're gone,
And the inn's there yet.
But all these things
Have passed away;
And the old hotel
Has had its day.
A long flat building
The roof slopes down;
Its boarded walls
Are painted brown.
Now this relic old
You can daily see,
Still standing there
By the cottonwood tree.
— JAMES HART
The Atlanta House
The Coleman House
BANKING IN ATLANTA
The banking house of T. N. Gill & Co.. was the first bank organized
in Atlanta and probably in Logan Co. It opened for business in the spring
154. This firm was succeeded by David Kern & Co. and was in turn
followed by Dills, Kem & Co., who conducted the business until 1866,
when it passed into the hands of the Hoblit brothers. In 1875, the Hoblits
changed their bank to a National Bank under the name of The First
National Bank of Atlanta, conducting it as such until 1879, when it again
became a private institution, known as the Atlanta Bank. It was located
where Judge Frank S. Bevan now has his office.
THE ATLANTA NATIONAL BANK
The Atlanta National Bank was organized in 1877 with Samuel H.
Fields as president; William S. Dunham as vice-president, J. P. Hierony-
mus, as cashier, and the following directors: Augustus Reise, William S.
Dunham, J. P. Hieronymus, A. P. West, William Gambrel and H. C.
Quisenberry. The bank occupied the rooms now owned and used by Judge
Frank S. Bevan as his Atlanta office, until 1916, when the building which
it now occupies was acquired.
The bank is capitalized for $50,000, and its report as of December
31, 1952 showed a surplus of $50,000 and undivided profits of $50,447.46.
Deposits totaled $2,474,000.
On two occasions, the bank has been the victim of attempted daylight
robberies. The first, on October 10, 1931, was thwarted when one of the
robbers mistook his own image in the mirror of the safe deposit vault for
that of a bank employe and shot, shattering the mirror. The robbers then
fled without securing any of the bank's funds. On June 29, 1932, the bank
was held up again, and the robbers made off with $4,386.33 and were
never apprehended. Since that time, bullet proof glass and other safety
devices have been installed to guard against robbery.
THE PEOPLE'S BANK
The People's Bank was organized October 6, 1887 as a general part-
nership with the following officers and directors: George W. Funk, presi-
dent P. R. Marquart, vice-president; C. H. Turner, cashier; Ed. Stubble-
field, J. L. Bevan, John H. Burt, C. T. Rock, P. R. Marquart and C. H.
Turner, directors. The bank was located in the two-story brick structure
which it built at the corner of Arch and Vine streets. The capital stock
was $40,000. In 1921, in order to conform to the new banking laws, the
bank was reorganized, under the name of Peoples Bank of Atlanta, and
the capital was increased to $50,000. In 1950, the directors of the bank
decided that, although the affairs of the bank were in a healthy condition,
circumstances were such that a liquidation of its assets was advisable.
Deposits were not accepted after June 30, and on July 29, 1950, the stock-
holders voted approval of the directors' action. Depositors were paid in
full, and with the final dividend to stockholders in June, 1951, the Peoples
Bank ceased to exist after an honorable record of nearly 64 years.
The Atlanta Cemetery was established in 1857, four years alter the
incorporation of the town. The first land secured for use as a cemetery
was bought from Harvey Turner and his wife and deeded to "David Kern,
president; Ira A. Church, John A. Droolcy, James Shores, A. N. Martin
and R. H. Killin, Trustees of the town of Atlanta, and their successors in
Office." This land was a portion of the tract which Harvey Turner en-
tered on the 20th of October, 1835, and for which he received his patent,
the deed from the United States, on the 1st of November, 1839. Additional
land has been purchased as the need arose.
At the close of the Civil War, a large monument was erected in the
cemetery to honor the soldiers who fought and died during the war. A
large mounted cannon and a mound of cannon balls was placed near the
base of this monument. For many years the Atlanta Band followed by
a long train of citizens, marched to the cemetery and held memorial serv-
ices on this lot. These services consisted mostly of patriotic speeches by
members of the G. A. R., after which a cannon was fired and flags were
placed on all the veterans' graves on Memorial Day. The flags are still
placed on all soldiers' graves, though the services are no longer held.
The Ladies' Cemetery Association of Atlanta was organized January
5, 1900, and a charter was granted to the Association, the incorporators
being Lucy M. Church, Hattie A. Medberry and Emma Onstott. Their
purpose was to form an association to take charge of the management and
care of the cemetery. The association met January 18, and elected the
following officers: President, Mrs. Margaret Randolph; vice-president,
Mrs. Addie Long; secretary, Mrs. Mary M. Mix; treasurer, Mrs. Elizabeth
Dunham; directors, Mrs. May McKinnon, Mrs. Emma Onstott, Mrs. Mary
Dalzell, Mrs. Lucy Church, Mrs. Ella Turner, Mrs. Mina Rowan and Mrs.
Hattie Medberry. A committee, consisting of Mrs. Adeline Long, chair-
man, Hattie Medberry, Mary Dalzell, Ida McKinnon and May Dunham
drafted a constitution and by-laws, which were presented for adoption at
a meeting held February 15. On February 22, the association met at the
home of Mrs. Rathbone, at which meeting the constitution and by-laws
The City of Atlanta deeded its cemetery to the association which has,
since its organization, cared for and controlled the property intrusted to
it. Previous to the time when the association accepted this responsibility,
the individual lot owners cared for their lots or employed a man by the
season to care for them. Under this system there were many neglected
lots. The Cemetery Association accepted responsibility for the care of a
lot for $1.50 per year, or pledged perpetual maintenance of a lot for the
payment of a $50 trust fund. For the first sexton, James Larison was
engaged, who gave his entire attention to the care of the grounds. The
cemetery was soon cleared of all grass and rubbish and all streets and
alleys were kept mown. The Association has always striven to keep the
grounds in the best of condition and today Atlanta has one of the prettiest
The fees from lot owners able to pay, and the income from the trust
fund have not always been enough to pay all expenses. However, recent
gifts to the Association have helped meet this need. In recent years, a
gift of $300 from Margaret Gordon Hoose, $2,000 from Blanche Rock and
a deed for 220 acres of land at Steele, Mo., by Clinton Martin, have been
greatly appreciated. All lots that are sold now arc sold with perpetual
On March 6, 1911. 2.58 acres of land by deed from Florence Shugart
to the City Ol Atlanta were added to the property, and on July 2, 1929.
icivs, known as the Morphis land were added
The Atlanta Cemetery came under state supervision on January 1,
1948 by the passage of the Cemetery Care Act, passed by the state legis-
lature in 1947.
Atlanta can truly be proud of her cemetery and the results of the
interest and work of the Ladies' Cemetery Association.
THE ATLANTA PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Atlanta Public Library was established in March, 1873, in ac-
cordance with the laws of Illinois. It stands as a monument to the public
spirited citizens, who realized the need for books in this community and
did something about it. James Shores was elected president of the first
library board; S. D. Fisher, secretary, and Benjamin Bean, librarian pro
tern. Other directors were Seth Turner, Dr. B. F. Gardner, Frank Hoblit.
W. S. Dunham. J. B. Tenney and E. J. Thomas.
For several years, the front room of the printing office was used as
a library, with George B. Shoals, editor of the Argus, as librarian. Other
early librarians were Mrs. Shoals, John W. Spindler and Dr. M. Lee. In
1881, the first catalogue was printed, listing 1,500 books. In 1893, the
library was moved to the old city hall, and Miss Alta Chenoweth served
as librarian for fifteen years. Upon her resignation, Miss Harriet Hamil-
ton was elected librarian. She was succeeded by Mrs. Eda B. Quisen-
berry, who served for thirteen years. On February 1, 1923, Mrs. Gail
Haines was asked to serve while Mrs. Quisonberry was in the South for
her health. On May 1, 1923 she was elected librarian and has served
continuously since. Many fine young people have assisted in the library
and gone forth to broader fields of service.
In 1907, more space was needed for books and for the many patrons
who had to stand In line to receive them. Once more the public-spirited
citizens did something about it. Seward Fields, a former citizen, donated
the three lots which form the spaeiows grounds on which the library
stands. With generous contributions From the public, among them a gift
Of $4,000 from Mrs. Martha Harness Tuttle, the present building was
The Atlanta Public Library
erected at a cost of $9,500. The building was dedicated on March 28, 1908,
with a reception and book shower in the afternoon and a program in the
evening at Murphy Hall.
In October, 1924, the Atlanta Woman's Club established a rental shelf
of new fiction, a fee of 10 cents a week being charged for each book. This
proved very popular. The initial gift was $100. The annual silver teas
of the club have netted $409.14, and the rental fees have totaled $1,024.20,
a grand total of $1,533.44, all of which was used for the purchase of new
fiction. Forty books are kept on the rental shelf, and 1,300 have been
transferred to the free library. Many patrons have given and loaned
new books to the rental shelf.
The Junior Woman's Club is also a generous contributor to the li-
brary. Most of their gilts have been spent for children's and teen-age
A Memorj Shelf was started in February, 1944 by G. Harry Tuttle,
thm president of the Library Board, in honor of the boys who lost their
lives in World War II. He gave a book in memory of each boy. They
wviv Eugene Hubner, John Purlee, Frederick Snow, Simon Wonderlin.
Gerald Baker, Robert Sexton, Joseph Brandt, Russell Jones, Elon Gard-
ner. A. Usherwood and James Williams. There is also a book honoring
the memory of Hartford Larison and one for John B. King.
The Memory Shell has grown rapidly into a section. Books come from
all parts of the United States, honoring the memory of relatives and
Two endowments were left to the library — from Seward H. Fields.
$3,000, and from Miss Alice Tuttle, $1,000. Mrs. Lillian Harry willed the
library $1,000 at her death. Many fine books came to the library from
their private libraries.
In February, 1948, the Atlanta Woman's Club and the Junior Woman's
Club sponsored a redecoration project of the library. They were joined
by the Parent-Teacher's Association, the Atlanta Rotary Club and many
private citizens. A complete restoration was carried out, the library being
closed for one month.
The library contains approximately 11,000 books, and the circulation
of books and magazines is steady.
A memorial gift to the library consists of three pictures of Abraham
Lincoln over the fireplace, with a placard below reading: "From a col-
lection of Mrs. Anna Strong Forgy, whose grandfather Sylvester Strong,
was a warm personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, and at whose home
Lincoln visited on his trips on the old 8th Circuit. Given by her son.
Clinton D. McWhenney."
The library also has a large lithograph of New Salem, home of Lin-
coln from 1831 to 1839. This was published by R. J. Onstott, and one of
the cabins is the old Onstott home. Many volumes of Lincoln history
and biography are on the shelves.
The large silk flag of Atlanta Post, Grand Army of the Republic is in
the library, loft there by Henry C. Hawes, the last Civil War veteran in
Some years ago, James O'Donnell Bennett. Chicago Tribune writer,
wrote a series of articles on Chicagoland within a radius of 250 miles.
One article w.is devoied to the Atlanta Library, at which he was amazed.
He called if Atlanta University, and closed with these words: "So I call
Atlanta a most stimulating and illuminating specimen of the goodly Chi-
cagoland and the moral is, thai what can be done in Atlanta, can he done
THE ATLANTA FAIR
The Atlanta Union Central Agricultural Society was organized in
1860 and incorporated by special act of the legislature in 1861. A. N.
Dills, A. C. Barnes, Joseph Bell, Isham Atchison, G. N. Bryson, Ezra T.
Kenyon, J. E. Hoblit, Alex Downey, P. R. Marquart, J. A. Pitts, A. J.
Ludlam and Ellis Dillon acted for the society as incorporators.
The early settlers saw the advantages arising from breeding a high
grade of stock and cultivating the more productive and improved varieties
of grain and fruit. They wisely thought an agricultural society would be
one of the best means to promote this end.
From its inception, the idea was to conduct a union fair at Atlanta
for the four counties of Logan, McLean, DeWitt and Tazewell, since At-
lanta occupied a strategic position geographically and historically as to
the four counties.
Early in 1860, it was decided to organize a fair association as a stock
company, the stock to be $20 per share, 20% of the face value to be paid
down, 30% when called for, and the balance of 50% in one year. In a
short time the sum of $4,000 was subscribed. April 2, 1860, a meeting
was called. Samuel Hoblit was selected as chairman and S. D. Fisher as
A subsequent meeting was held April 20, 1860 at which the Atlanta
Union Central Agricultural Society was formally organized by the election
of the following officers: President, A. W. Morgan; vice-presidents, Isham
Atchison and Samuel Hoblit; directors, A. N. Dills, A. D. Downey, Syl-
vester Strong, Jonathan Merriam, Joseph Pitts, R. W. Burt and A. C.
Barnes. It was also decided to purchase ground and hold the first fair the
The land purchased from John E. Hoblit consisted of 18 acres of roll-
ing prairie within the town plat and adjoining on the south, for which the
society was to pay $65 per acre. (To this original site, the society later
added some 18 acres more.) The site having been purchased, the 18
acres were enclosed by an eight-foot high board fence and within this
enclosure the first fair was held October 9, 10, 11 and 12, 1860. The
Atlanta Union Central Agricultural Society obtained its charter February
15. 1861 from the General Assembly of 1860-61.
At the end of a quarter of a century, we read from "History of Logan
County" published in 1886:
"Few societies in the state can boast a finer grounds. During these
many years, groves of native and evergreen trees have been carefully
cultivated and now groups of beautiful shade trees are scattered over the
grounds. An abundance of water is obtained from wells. The buildings
are convenient, commodious and handsome. Long lines of roomy stalls
for horses and cattle, a large number of comfortable pens of hogs and
a substantial machinery hall, an extensive dining room, a large
semi-Circular covered amphitheatre, capable of seating several thousand
persons, a tasty and ornamental band stand, and an elegant new floral
hall lor the exhibition of farm and garden products, fruits, canned goods,
fancy work, art displays, etc., all attest that the directors carefully studied
the interests of exhibitors and visitors alike. A circular race track, facing
the amphitheatre, is laid out in the east part of the grounds. A fair has
been held every year with the exception of 1862, when the Civil war ab-
sorbed every interest.
'"It must not for a moment be supposed that all has been clear sailing,
and that their meetings have been a series of uninterrupted successes. Like
all similar organizations, it has had its ups and downs, its bright and
gloomy sides, but it has been especially fortunate in having a set of warm
supporters, who were neither willing to give up its life nor sacrifice its
honor, and this one has succeeded in riding every storm and has paid its
debts, dollar for dollar. At one time, its debts amounted to $2,700, and
the directors were compelled to pledge their private obligations to secure
them. At this date, it stands free of debt with a surplus of $1,500 in the
"The display of horses, hogs, cattle, and sheep is unusually good.
Liberal premiums are offered and closely contended for. This annual
display of fine stock has led to the constant improvements of the breeds,
and has earned for this section of the country an enviable reputation in
cattle, horses, hogs and sheep. Few finer rings of draft horses can be
seen anywhere than at this fair, and the show of the grade and thorough-
bred cattle is superior.
"In the halls, the ladies vie with each other in canned fruits, breads,
cakes, fancy and useful articles, and the farmers in all the varied pro-
ductions of farm and garden.
"It has been the intention of the managers to make this a stock and
agricultural fair, and they have offered little encouragement to racing.
Their is a good track where some trials of speed are made, but no large
purses are offered or special efforts put forth to make this a leading
feature. Gambling devices of every kind are frowned upon, the sale of
all kinds of liquor is strictly prohibited, and every effort put forth to
maintain a high moral standard.
"A list of premiums offered is annually published and distributed
throughout the country. It is carefully revised each year, and such
changes made as experience and the times demand. Since its organiza-
tion, there has been paid out through the various channels of the society,
"Authority is granted by the constitution to establish an institution
<>! learning in connection with the society, the object of BUCh an institution
lo Introduce a COUrae of a more thorough instruction in those blanches
of science that more directly concern an agricultural community, as well
■ -, .»
as the arts and sciences, and in connection with it to conduct a farm for
experimental purposes. Up to the present time, the society has never
followed out this provision."
The first annual gathering of the "Old Settlers Union" was held by
imitation with the Agricultural Board at the fair grounds September 7,
1880. All residents of the four counties, who had lived in Illinois forty
years, were eligible for membership. Silk badges were presented, blue
for those who had lived in Illinois fifty years, red for those who had lived
in the state forty years. The society gave them the use of a pleasant
grove, known as "Old Settlers Grove," for holding their annual meetings
and accompanying exercises. In 1881, they decided to erect a "monu-
mental log cabin" in their grove, each member being allowed to contri-
bute one log or piece toward the building. The building was erected
August 16, 1881, a substantial log cabin, 18 by 20 feet. The pioneers also
in 1882 erected a small cabin of unhewn logs, using neither nail nor modern
device in its construction, this as a monument to the "Snow Birds" or
pioneers, who had settled previously to the big snow of 1830-31.
From the Atlanta Argus of August 30, 1910:
"It is hard to realize the Atlanta Fair has completed half a century
of existence. Such a record is unique among county fairs, the average life
of which is 25 years.
"A considerable number there are who have attended every fair ever
given by the society. There were 54 registered who had attended the
"One of the most striking evidences that a new generation has sprung
up to take the place of the early pioneers is the fact that yesterday for
the first time in thirty years, the first day of the fair was not celebrated
as Old Settlers Day.
"Of the original incorporators of the association, not one is living. Of
the officers and directors, only one survives.
"Tuesday started with the biggest first day in the history of the asso-
ciation, receipts of $1,700 eclipsing last year's totals which were considered
a record breaker.
"The Homecoming feature doubtless attracted many. Taken alto-
gether, it was such a success it will doubtless remain a permanent feature
of the Atlanta Fair.
"Wednesday was Automobile Day. Many autos were on the grounds,
and it was planned to get all machines on the track and parade, but it
was impossible to get the owners to take part.
"Also a new feature was the judging of a herd of six dairy cattle by
teams of three boys from the four counties."
The tail grounds were used for many and varied programs through
the years. The colored citizens of Atlanta and vicinity celebrated the
twelfth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation Wednesday, Sep-
tember 22, 1875 and had a grand old-style barbecue to which everyone
was invited. Hon. Shelby M. Cullom delivered the main address, with
Rogers' Brass Band of Springfield furnishing the music. The C. & A.
Railroad carried passengers for one fair and one-fifth. Illinois Midland
Railroad carried passengers from Decatur and Peoria to Atlanta and
return for one-half fare.
Many big political rallies were held on the grounds. In 1908, Gov.
Yates was the speaker, with a barbecue as a feature of the day. Eleven
beeves, averaging 850 pounds dressed, were cooked by steam by a steam
engine forced into a specially erected building.
Fraternal orders held all-day meetings, with programs, drills and
basket dinners the attractions.
During Music Week of May, 1926, the grade schools put on an oper-
etta, "Fairy Queen," before a packed amphitheatre.
From a Fair Book of 1928, in a foreword, "To The People," we read:
"In presenting our 68th annual premium list to our friends and pa-
trons, the management renews its pledge for a clean fair in every respect,
and invites the people to come, bring their families and dinners, meet and
mingle with their neighbors and friends under pleasurable and unobjec-
tionable surroundings, see the many interesting exhibitions, and enjoy
themselves generally. Our motto: 'A Bigger and Better Fair," is still in
"When the present board of directors took over the management of
the fair, the association was $9,500 in debt. This debt has been reduced
to $6,500, with all interest paid, and all obligations paid in full. Besides
that, the grandstand has been built at a total cost of $2,800, the ground
wired for electricity at a cost of several hundred dollars, the barns have
been repainted, the grounds have been tiled, and many other improve-
ments made, and all this during a period when the agricultural situation
surrounding us has been in a state of depression. In view of the above
facts, we believe that with improved conditions and with the general help
and boosting of our citizens, the debt can soon be lifted."
The weather for 1928 seemed ideal and attendance was very good.
Yet at the close of the fair, the management was unable to pay all their
premiums by $1,650, which was advanced by friends to make payments
in full. It was decided, therefore, to sell all property and clear the in-
dness. On January 20, 1930, the real estate was sold to the People's
Rank for $6,384.50 and the buildings to individuals for $2,367.95. This
was sufficient to pay all indebtedness of the society if the $1,650 he not
considered as indebtedness.
This sale constituted the last gesture of this time honored organiza-
tion, and not a few present breathed a sigh of regret as they saw the
property pass into other hands and realized the Atlanta Union Central
Agricultural Association was no more.
The citizens of At Ian, a have always prided themselves upon the prog-
ressiveness of their public schools. No pains have been spared to keep
them up to a standard of the highest excellence, and from the inception of
the city in 1853, the Atlanta schools, in point of efficiency, have not been
excelled in the county. In 1853, the first school building in Atlanta, called
the Seminary, was erected on the southwest corner of the present school
site. It was chartered in 1855 and was non-denominational. The first
board of trustees was Samuel Bevan, Lemuel Foster, James Tuttle, A. C.
Rankin and R. T. Gill.
The charter conferred upon the trustees full power to confer Academic
degrees, to regulate the course of study, to appoint teachers, make by-
laws, to erect additional buildings and to purchase grounds not to exceed
ten acres. Upon the approval of the stockholders, the trustees had the
power to convert the school into a high school, which was later done. The
stock was twenty dollars per share, each share being entitled to one vote.
Stockholders were liable to a tax of one dollar on each share.
In may, 1856, there were 137 enrolled. There were three departments
in the school: primary, intermediate and high. In addition to Reading,
Writing and Spelling, there were five classes in Arithmetic, two in Alge-
bra, three in Geography, one in Philosophy, one in Latin and one in
Atlanta was incorporated as a city in 1869, and the schools were reor-
ganized under the state school law as graded schools of the city. The
district was enlarged to include one mile each way from town, and a board
of directors was elected to assume entire control of the schools. In 1870,
the old Seminary building was found inadequate for the accommodation
of the school population, and measures were taken to erect a larger
building. The old building was removed to the corner of the lot and used
until the new one was completed when it was moved to the farm of
Augustus Reise, now the Dunham farm at the west edge of Atlanta.
The building erected in 1870 was three stories in height above the
basement and contained ten school rooms, a spacious hall and an office.
It was surmounted by a cupola, in which a large four-dialed clock was
placed. The clock cost $800 and the sum was raised by contributions.
The contract price of the building was $24,485, to which $500 was added
afterwards. The entire cost of the building, clock and furnishings was
This building was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1908. Undaunted
by this disaster, a structure was erected in its stead, which not only far
surpassed its predecessor, but was one of the largest and best equipped
buildings in the state. It is two stories high and constructed of vitrified
brick with stone trimmings and a slate roof, the brick being of a dark
chocolate color. The contrad price of the edifice was about $40,000, and
the additional expense of plumbing and furnishings increased the cost to
within the neighborhood of $60,000. Few cities of the size of Atlanta in
the state could boast of so magnificent a school building at that time.
School was first opened in the new building September 6, 1909.
In 1919, it was decided to incorporate more of the territory around
Atlanta into a separate high school district. This district, No. 401, was
organized on August 2, 1919 and comprised 35 % sections in Atlanta and
Eminence townships. It was the first community high school district
organized in Logan County. Thus in the fall of 1920, Atlanta Community
The Old School Building
High School opened for the first time. The first board of education in-
cluded Dr. Maskel Lee, O. E. Johnson, James I. McKown, Ray E. Thomp-
son and Fred S. Zollars.
The school continued to operate in the grade school building and
rented space from District No. 301 until November, 1935. In that year,
an election was held to select, purchase a site and build an addition to the
high school. It was agreed that the High School would build the new
addition: three classrooms and combination auditorium and gymnasium.
This was done with the assistance of WPA labor and a $15,000 grant from
the government. The total cost was about $40,000. Henceforth, the whole
building and all real estate was the property of both districts, 301 and 401,
with both sharing in the cost of maintenance. The new building was
dedicated on Nov. 13, 1936.
Prior to the building of this addition, it was necessary to use the facili-
ties of Murphy Hall for plays, basketball games and year-end activities.
It was a distinct asset to have these rooms attached to the building with
showers and dressing rooms at hand. Running to the City Hall for a quick
shower was no longer necessary for the basketball boys.
Additions to the school property include the acquisition of an excellent
athletic field, two blocks north of the schoolhouse in 1940. In 1946, the
school purchased the west half of the block, north of the school, for the
purpose of creating an all weather playground. The street between the
two blocks was closed to give added space and safety. A dwelling adjacent
to the school was purchased in 1949 for use of the school superintendent.
Additions and changes to the building to make possible a luncheon pro-
gram were made in 1951. The old gymnasium floor was raised to the
level of the adjoining halls and the room converted into a cafeteria. The
kitchens were installed in the old Home Economics room. The last addi-
tion to the school system was a bus garage, which was completed in May,
1951, to the north of the main building and east of the playground. This
houses the five buses which transport the students to and from school to
their homes and to school activities out of town.
In 1947, it seemed expedient to consolidate the grade schools in the
district and surrounding area. An election was held May 23 of that year,
and the following grade schools were incorporated into District No. 301:
District 23, Clear Creek; District 24, New Castle; District 25, Hoblit;
District 301, Atlanta Grade; District 53, Rose Hill; District 55, Walnut
Row; District 56, Eminence; District 58, Hazel Dell. That fall three
buses were purchased to transport students to the school building in town.
A law was passed by the state legislature on July 1, 1947 for the
creation of Unit School Districts, so the Atlanta school districts were
again reorganized and Unit 20 was created on December 11, 1948. This
combined Districts 301 and 401, plus some other territory, principally in
Eminence and Oran townships. The new Unit School was set up to be
operated by a seven-man board, which was as follows: L. H. Dunham,
president; DeWitt Yeast, secretary; R. L. Ijams, V. B. Bateman, Paul
Gordon, J. Neil Rice and John A. Hoblit.
The first free private school for handicapped children in Logan
County was set up in Atlanta in the fall of 1927 and was operated as a
part of the school system. The school was conducted in a regulation
school room, set up in the homes. The school was discontinued in 1935.
In 1933, the students of the private school edited a school paper, contain-
ing notes and news about the High School. This paper was taken over
later by high school student body and has since been published as the
The class of 1919 published the school's first year book, entitled
Atlanta High School. In 1922, under the direction of Bertha Bridges,
Principal of the High School, the first Atalanta was issued by the Senior
Class. Since that time, the Senior Class of each year has published an
annual, containing news and pictures of the school, with records of the
activities of the year, as well as a listing of the Alumni at intervals.
Atlanta has always held her own in athletics, especially good records
having been made in football and track in the earlier years. Probably
the most impressive record in Atlanta school athletic history was made
by the track teams in the Corn Belt Athletic meets in the early years of
the century. Competing against Springfield, Decatur, Bloomington, Lin-
coln and other large high schools, Atlanta won meets and set records in
individual events which were never broken during the existence of the
Corn Belt association. During the last few years, the main sports have
been basketball and baseball. These sports are well supported by the
Pep Club and the citizens of the community.
Through the years, an interest has been taken in dramatics and the
literary field. Various organizations sponsored these activities, the most
active having been the Literary Adelphi and Belles Lettres societies, both
of which ceased to exist in 1922. Debating, Declamation and Oratorical
contests were entered and many honors won. The Atlanta High School
won more oratorical prizes at the various meets of the Corn Belt Oratorical
Association than any other school in the association. The late William
Kephart also won first place at the state oratorical contest at Urbana
In music the schools always have ranked high. In 1921-22, Prof. H.
O. Merry was hired to instruct the students in instrumental music, and he
was followed by instructors, who maintained the high standards which he
set. Miss Adelle McClure was engaged in 1923 to direct vocal in both the
grade and high schools. Over the years, Atlanta school musicians have
been highly successful in winning awards in district and state contests.
The Girls Athletic Association of Atlanta High School was organized
during the year of 1947-48. Prior to that time there was no full time
girls physical education instructor, though there had been an organization
for one year under the direction of Miss Kimball in 1939-40. Each year
the club selects one of its members to receive the Sportsmanship Award.
This trophy is on display in the school trophy case.
It is worthy of note that Atlanta has been able to produce so many
of her own teachers. Many of them have graduated from the school,
gone elsewhere for additional training and then returned to help educate
their hometown children. Notable in this list are the late Miss Minnie
Nollen, who spent fifty years instructing the beginners, and Miss Cora
Carlock, who is finishing her 42nd year in the system this year. Many
others have enviable records in their faithful and loving service to the
FUTURE HOMEMAKERS OF AMERICA
The Atlanta Chapter of the Future Homemakers of America was or-
ganized in 1945 and was affiliated with the state and national organiza-
tions on October 29, 1945, with 41 members. The first officers were:
Jean Hout, president; Wilma Baldwin, vice-president; Dorothy Larson,
secretary; Marilyn Brandt, treasurer; Joan Wiseman, historian; Wilma
Baldwin, song leader; Gilberta Gordon, club reporter; Melba Miller,
chairman of scrap book; Mrs. H. L. Wiseman, chapter mother; Miss Marian
Ioder, chapter adviser.
FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA
The present charter was granted to Atlanta Chapter, Future Farmers
of America, on April 23, 1947. Twenty-six members were enrolled. The
officers for 1946-47 were: Eugene Craft, president; Harold Brooks, vice-
president; John Horn, secretary; Duane Quisenberry, treasurer; Vaughn
Craft, reporter. Brian Grant was the chapter adviser.
ATLANTA PARENT-TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
The Atlanta Patron Teachers Association was founded on December
13, 1918, with a view toward promoting a better understanding between
the teachers and the community. Mrs. H. W. McClure was the first
president. Included in the membership were many patrons who were
neither teachers nor parents of pupils. "Cooperation" was adopted as
its slogan, and for 36 years, it has been guided by that principle, both
within the organization and in its relationship with other community or-
Recognition of teachers' faithful service and a sympathetic under-
standing of teachers' problems rank high among its objectives. Credit
must be given the Association for making Atlanta school conscious. By
being attuned to the needs of the school, it has in no small way helped
develop the excellent reputation which our schools have enjoyed through
In 1928, the Association joined the Federation and was chartered the
Atlanta Parent-Teacher Association. It is now a member of the National
Congress of Parents and Teachers, with a membership of over 7,000,000 —
the largest organization in the world, whose sole purpose is for the best
interest of children.
The following show some of the local accomplishments: purchased
encyclopedia, reference and World Books, music and records, band uni-
forms, new piano, record player, public address system, playground equip-
ment and repairs, scales, dishes, Christmas treats, attendance trophies,
basketball suits, furnished first aid room, immunization, health measures,
individually and for the entire school. Donations have been made to each
room, the polio fund, Girl Scouts, Atlanta Public Library for redecorat-
ing and Red Cross.
P. T. A. sponsored the first Homecoming, with its parades and suppers.
Milk and cocoa were served the children before the Association launched
the present hot lunch program. Delegates have been sent to the District
and state conventions. Mothersinger groups have been organized. The
community has enjoyed excellent programs at the monthly meetings.
Funds for these projects were obtained from carnivals, bazaars, sup-
pers, a rummage sale and scrap drives, to which the community has al-
ways given its whole hearted cooperation.
The accomplishments of leaders and committees have overlapped
through the years, so as to give a continuity of purpose to the organi-
zation: namely, the welfare of the child.
THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
A meeting was held May 5, 1922 at the school building to form an
Alumni Association of the Atlanta High School. Previous attempts at
such an organization had failed. The group decided to hold an initial
banquet on June 2, 1922 and form such an organization, and committees
for the banquet were appointed. There was an attendance of 116 at the
banquet, which was held at the Methodist church. Frank S. Bevan was
chosen chairman and M. M. Hoose, secretary, of the organization meeting.
Those present decided to hold a similar meeting each year, and the fol-
lowing officers were chosen to take care of all business and arrangements
for the next year: President, Mrs. B. R. Hawley; vice-president, Mrs. Lida
Hardie Miller; secretary-treasurer, P. A. Crihfield; corresponding secre-
tary, Miss Eleanor Barnes. A membership fee of fifty cents per year
was voted, and any graduate of the high school was eligible for member-
ship. Credit for this successful banquet and meeting was given to Mrs.
Hawley and her large force of assistants.
The banquet has been held each year since 1922. It has become the
custom to pay special tribute to the 50-year graduates, as well as those
who have been alumni for ten and twenty-five years. The annual banquet
has become a homecoming occasion for graduates from far and near, for
they are assured of meeting many friends and acquaintances of their
THE ATLANTA BAPTIST CHURCH
The Atlanta Baptist Church, the oldest continuous church organiza-
tion in Logan County, was established in 1830, under the name of the
Big Grove Baptist Church at the house of Hiram Bowman, its first pastor.
It was situated in what was known as the Big Grove timber, on the Kick-
apoo Creek in what is now Atlanta Township. Michael Mann, another
pioneer Baptist preacher, assisted in the organization. The original mem-
bership numbered fourteen, of which John Hoblit was chosen deacon and
Samuel Hoblit, clerk. Messrs. Bowman and Mann were old school Bap-
tists who were vigorously opposed to the missionary movement as well as
the paying of salaries to pastors and the church was organized in accord-
ance with their views.
In August of 1838, Mr. Bowman was succeeded as pastor by J. D.
Newell and at the same meeting where Mr. Newell was selected a resolu-
tion was passed that "the church agree that her members shall have their
liberty of conscience respecting assisting their minister or for missionary
purposes if they choose." In 1841 the church adopted new articles of
faith, among which was the following: "We believe it the duty of members
of the church to contribute to the support of the ministry according to
The baptist Church
The town of Atlanta was laid out in 1853 and by 1855 had become a
sprightly town. The inhabitants of New Castle moved to Atlanta, aban-
doning the old settlement and the New Castle Baptist Society thereupon
disposed of the old meeting house at New Castle and in 1855 erected a
new church edifice in Atlanta, changing the name of the society to the
Atlanta Baptist church. The new building was 48 feet by 60 feet in
dimensions, with a gallery opposite the pulpit. The trustees of the church
at this time were Elias Harness, Samuel Bevan, Jerome B. Tenney,
Samuel Hoblit and George M. Angell. In the spring of 1856, Rev. E. J.
Thomas became the regular pastor.
On New Year's morning of 1872, the church erected in 1855 was
destroyed by fire. From 1872 until 1886 the congregation held services
in the Congregational and Cumberland Presbyterian churches. In July
of 1885 the contract for erecting a new church building was let. This
building was completed in 1886 and was dedicated March 21, 1886. The
entire cost oi the new building, 36 feet by 50 feet, with an addition 16
f ee t by 48 feet on the west, including ten memorial windows, furnishings
and furnace amounted to $4,146. Church services in this building con-
tinued until the year 1941. Later the church disbanded and the church
building was sold at auction in 1948. Subsequently it was torn down
and removed. The church edifice was located on Fourth Street, on the
site now occupied by the B. F. Twomey home.
THE ATLANTA CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The Atlanta Christian Church was organized in 1855 in the Baptist
Chapel where meetings were held the first year on Lord's Day afternoons.
The organization was made under the direction of George W. Minier
with 32 charter members who were Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Ewing, Mr. and
Mrs. Andrew Wright, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Judy, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
Howser, Mr. and Mrs. James Shores, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Howser, Mr. and
Mrs. J. P. Howser, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Britt, Mr. and Mrs. J. H.
Dills, Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Holland, Mr. and Mrs. John Miller, Mr. and
Mrs. Calvin Riley, Mr. and Mrs. George Dyer, Dr. and Mrs. Arteburn,
Mrs. Dr. J. B. Tenney. Mrs. Sallie Strong, Mrs. Gill and Mrs. Christenson.
The first elders were C. F. Ewing and Andrew Wright; the first dea-
cons were Jacob Judy and Jefferson Howser; James Shores was clerk.
The first minister was W. M. Guilford who was at that time principal of
the public schools.
II I INOK I IRDADV
The first building was erected in 1856 and later there were several
additions. The Harness Memorial Library dedicated Nov. 7, 1897 being
the most important. This first building served the congregation until
removed to give place for the present structure. Under the leadership of
Rev. R. H. Newton agitation for a modern building to serve the needs of
the Church and Bible School was started. Early in 1912 plans were
accepted by the congregation for a completely furnished structure to cost
$20,000 or more.
Work progressed rapidly and on November 9, 1913 the new church
was dedicated. However, the cost of the new building turned out to be
$30,000 instead of $20,000.
The membership is approximately 500.
The Old Christian Church
&^'o%. i\Puf Of^u^huu Cyu4#£L«. y}^^
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The Present Christian Church
THE ATLANTA CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SOCIETY
A group known as the Christian Science Society was organized about
1910 and held regular meetings and Sunday School in the Modern Wood-
man Hall. There were about twenty members.
Later the society disbanded and all funds on hand were sent to the
THE ATLANTA CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
The Atlanta Congregational Church was one of the earliest Congre-
gational Churches in Illinois, having been organized in 1840 in the Mt.
Hope settlement. The church was moved to Atlanta as soon as that town
was platted in 1853, being probably the first church society holding serv-
ices in the new town. A new church edifice was erected in 1859 and on
the evening of July 4th, before the building was seated, an ice cream
social was held in the church. Abraham Lincoln attended and was pre-
sented a cake. H. W. Cobb was pastor at this time.
The church building was a two story structure. The pastor and his
family occupied the first floor and the religious services were held on the
The society has been inactive since 1885. The church had no prospect
for better times, as the society numbered but about twenty members. The
building was then occupied by the Cumberland Presbyterians.
Later the building was moved to the A. E. Barnes place at the north
edge of Atlanta where it still stands.
The Congregational Church. About 1934
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church
THE ATLANTA CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Atlanta Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized about
1856; but the denomination, having three or four houses of worship within
a few miles of town, no building was erected in Atlanta until 1866. Rev.
Joseph Roach was pastor at this time.
This structure, located at the corner of Fourth and Race Streets, was
used by them when they had regular services until January 1880 when it
was leased to the Baptists. They used it until January 1885, when the
Cumberland Presbyterians resumed its use. The last of November, 1885
it was burned in some unknown manner and the society rented the Con-
gregational Church until the spring of 1886. Elders were James Adams,
William Roach, and I. S. Chenoweth; trustees, S. H. Nolder and James
Adams. An attractive brick building was erected later. This edifice was
located west of the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot.
The church was later referred to as the Presbyterian Church, al-
though according to Mrs. Eugenia Horrom Lee, who was a member of
the church, it was always a Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The
membership became so small that the congregation disbanded.
The building was sold in 1919. E. Blinn Ransdell and his father, the
late Grant Ransdell, bought it and took the bricks to the farm of E. Blinn
Ransdell north of Atlanta. They were used in building the house which
is the home of the E. Blinn Ransdells.
THE ATLANTA METHODIST CHURCH
Methodism in Atlanta dates back to the earliest history of the town.
When the Chicago and Alton railroad was built in 1853 the new town
grew like a mushroom. People flocked in and many of them were of the
Methodist faith. A movement to organize a church was instituted in
1854, the first meeting being held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James
Cantrall, who lived on Railroad Street in the house now owned and oc-
cupied by Mrs. Theodore Williams. This building was operated by Mr.
Cantrall as a boarding house and hotel and was Atlanta's first public
In the year 1854 the annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church appointed Rev. James Newbegin preacher in charge of the Waynes-
ville circuit which contained the following charges: Waynesville, Maddox
School House, Bell's School House, Rock Creek, Mt. Hope, Atlanta, Funk's
Grove and Hittle's Grove. At the time of Mr. Newbegin's second appoint-
ment in Atlanta he preached in the hotel of James M. Cantrall. After
The Old Methodist Church
The Present Methodist Church
this meeting a class of twenty-five members was formed and James Can-
trail was named leader. After making about four rounds on the circuit
Rev. Newbegin became dissatisfied and, after being released from his
charge, returned to England, his native land.
Rev. John M. Preshaw came for the remainder of the conference year.
During the winter months he preached in the Seminary, later known as
Hon. A. Reise's barn.
On January 22, 1856 the trustees resolved to let the contract for
furnishing the material and building a house for $2715.00.
On the first Sabbath in February, 1857 the church was dedicated
and on June 8, 1857 the trustees received the building from the con-
tractors. There were just forty-four members.
For more than fifty years the old church served as a place of wor-
ship. It was repaired and partially rebuilt on several occasions but the
main auditorium remained about the same as when built in 1857. The
membership felt the need of a more adequate church building to accom-
modate the services and various activities of a growing organization.
At the third quarterly conference, May 1913, Pastor F. M. Harry was
authorized to secure funds for the construction of a new church. By
December of that year $10,000 had been pledged and plans were adopted.
April 1, 1914 the contract was let and work started.
The old church building was sold to Motz and Ary, who moved it to
a lot on East Vine Street where it still stands.
On Sunday, February 21, 1915, the church was formally dedicated
with Bishop McDowell, Doctor B. F. Shipp and Rev. J. C. Nate as guests.
Dedication day, an all day service, ended with the church free of all debt.
The building is still beautiful and the membership is growing in
numbers. There are now over three hundred members.
THE ATLANTA AFRICAN METHODIST CHURCH
An African Methodist Society was organized in Atlanta in 1875, and
a church was erected by the society in 1876. The trustees at the time of
the building of the church were Daniel Fitch and William Escue. The
Society is now inactive.
THE ATLANTA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
For many years the members of the Presbyterian Church worshipped
in a hall rented for the purpose. In 1868 they completed their house of
worship, a comfortable brick structure which, unfortunately, cracked and
was considered unsafe. The only two regular pastors the society had
were Rev. Crissman and Rev. A. Bartholomew. The building was repaired
and for a few years monthly services were held. It is difficult to find
information concerning this church organization, but one of our older
citizens states that he remembers when the group was active in Atlanta.
THE UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
The Atlanta United Pentecostal Church was organized about seven
years ago. Rev. Roy Simpkins of Waynesville was the first Pastor. The
congregation met in the building next to the Drug Store at the corner of
Vine and Railroad Streets. Later the members bought the Texaco Station
and Cafe on old Route 66 and remodeled it, making a church and living
quarters for the pastor and his family. Services are now held here. The
present membership is small.
ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
Catholic services were held in private homes in Atlanta as early as
1856, shortly after the establishment of the city.
In 1860, Father Martin of the Lincoln parish, began to attend the
parish here as a mission, celebrating mass once each month. In 1880 the
parish as a mission was transferred to the Elkhart parish.
The present church edifice was erected in 1881 at a cost of $1,200.00
under the ministration of Father M. Reynolds, rector of the Elkhart
parish, who was holding services at Atlanta.
Father W. J. Drummy of Elkhart became officiating priest in August,
At the present time services continue, children receiving instruction
each Saturday morning; mass is celebrated each Sunday morning.
St. Mary's Church
Murphy Hall was erected in 1878 as the result of the temperance
movement, it being named for Father Murphy, the founder of the Father
Murphy Total Abstinence Society.
On Sunday, October 21, 1877, the Murphy temperance movement was
inaugurated in Atlanta by Dr. Conway. Early in the history, the project
of building a grand hall for the temperance meetings was mentioned. In
the latter part of December, the project took definite shape, and a sub-
scription stock list was drawn up and circulated. Only a few days' can-
vassing made the building of the hall an assured fact. To Frank Hoblit
and P. R. Marquart, more than to any other two men, were the people
indebted for the success of the undertaking. On February 22, the founda-
tion was laid and from that time on the progress was rapid.
The hall was a frame building, 90 feet long and 48 feet wide, with
self supporting roof. A stage, 20 feet deep, was built across the rear and
raised 4% feet high, giving room for dressing rooms and kitchen below.
Four windows on each side and two in front gave light and ventilation,
and there were four chimneys to accommodate as many stoves for heating.
The building stood on Railroad street, between Vine and Elm, fronting
the C. & A. railroad tracks.
The directors met on April 15 and set the date of the dedication for
May 5, 1878. Invitations were sent to all the temperance people in the
county to meet with them, and the audience on that day numbered almost
1,400. The Hon. A. Brown Bunn, of Decatur, was the speaker of the day.
It was in Murphy Hall that many of our people made their first
appearance before the public in school entertainments. It was here that
hundreds of our young folks gave their commencement orations as a
requirement for graduation; it was here that Flora DeVoss and her dra-
matic company and Callahan's Comedians entertained the Atlanta Fair
week crowds; that Church's Minstrels packed the house; that young folks
danced and roller skated; that the churches held their bazaars; the women
served big election day dinners; and amateur thespians trod the boards
in home talent plays. Here, too, were held the political rallies in the days
when political rallies were taken seriously, and after the smoke of battle
had cleared, the results were given over a special telegraph wire to the
hall to those awaiting the outcome of the election. With the rise of
basketball as a high school indoor sport, the old hall became the scene
of some hectic encounters.
Probably best remembered of the managers of the hall is the late
Dr. B. I. Pumpelly, who brought some fine attractions here with the winter
entertainment courses and the road stock companies. In connection with
his management, many of the older people will remember Addison Carter
and his wife, Maggie, who acted as janitors.
At a meeting of the stockholders and directors of the Atlanta National
Union Temperance Association, held April 5, 1946, it was the concensus
of opinion that the old hall had outlived its usefulness and would be a
liability rather than an asset to the community in the future. It was
voted to sell the building at auction. The decision to remove the building
was arrived at with reluctance, but there seemed to be no other practical
The building had been used as a warehouse by the Mountjoy Hybrid
Seed Co. during the last years of its existence.
The Murphy Hall building was sold at public auction, Saturday after-
noon, May 11, 1946. The successful bidders at $2925 were George F. and
Frank Snyder, of Decatur.
The site is now occupied by the Atlanta Food Locker,
Logan County Cooperative Food Locker Co.
built by the
ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT
Atlanta suffered severely from fires in the early days. Most of the
buildings were of wood, and once a fire started, there was little chance
of extinguishing it. With the establishment of a city waterworks system
in 1892, there was a better opportunity afforded to combat fire, and a
four-wheel cart with ladders and leather water buckets was provided for
use of the volunteer firemen. This was drawn by the firemen. Two-
wheel hose carts were also drawn by hand, but in later years were hooked
to automobiles. About 1913, a chemical tank was purchased. This was
also mounted on wheels and at first was pulled by hand. Among the early
volunteer fire fighters were Ed (Jack) Conklin, Frank Cheek, Horace
Houghtling, Ralph Welch, John Keene, Jesse Knowles, Asa Coffman and
The Atlanta Fire Department was formed September 24, 1926, and a
fire truck was bought by the city. The following officers were chosen:
Neil Rice, chief; Clarence Hieronymus, assistant chief; Walter Cheek,
first captain; Harold Mason, second captain; Paul Schmidt, first engineer;
Vaughn Harkreader, second engineer; Raymond Downs, third engineer;
Ralph Demling, fourth engineer; M. M. Hoose, secretary. Other members
of the department were Otto Goeman, Leo Hitchell, Lee Irvin, Elmer
Taylor, W. A. Hieronymus, Albert Fulk, R. D. Stetson, Harold Douglas,
J. N. Hayter, Loy Brandt and Clarence Black.
The City of Atlanta makes annual appropriations for the upkeep of
the department and in other ways has maintained the closest collaboration
in order to keep up the efficiency of the department. During the early
years of the organization the firemen added to their available funds by
promoting Firemen's Balls.
A fire District for the protection of the surrounding territory was
formed in 1949. A modern fire truck was bought by the district, and
although title to the truck is in the district, and the city is not a part of
the district, the truck is manned and maintained by the Atlanta Fire De-
partment and is available for use within the City of Atlanta. Ralph
Brown, Henry Armbrust and Allen Applegate are directors of the Fire
The Atlanta Fire Department has an excellent record, and statistics
show that its fire losses in the city are among the lowest in the state.
Of the original members of the Fire Department, only four are still
active — Neil Rice, Harold Mason, Paul Schmidt and Elmer Taylor.
ATLANTA GETS ELECTRIC LIGHTS
Agitation for electric lights in Atlanta was started in 1895, when
Robinson & Son, of Girard, applied for a franchise to install and operate
an electric light plant in Atlanta. At a special election held Monday,
September 9, 1895, the people of Atlanta declared themselves in favor
of electric lights by a vote of 106 to 51. A franchise was granted to
Edward M. Burnett and John C. Robinson at a city council meeting in
October, and work was commenced at once on the building to house the
electric light plant. Street lights were turned on in Atlanta for the first
time on Saturday night, February 1, 1896. A meeting had been arranged
by Alderman Charles Haise to celebrate the event, but due to a broken
circuit, it was nearly midnight before the lights could be turned on. How-
ever, the coming of electric lights to Atlanta was celebrated at a meeting
on May 9, 1896.
Service at first was limited and a signal warning that the lights
would be turned off at 11 o'clock broke up social gatherings and cut short
the romancing of Atlanta's young people at an early hour.
With the change from direct to alternating current in 1914, electricity
in Atlanta assumed greater importance as a means of furnishing power.
In 1915, the lines were extended to McLean, the farmers furnishing a free
right-of-way through their lands.
The Robinson family disposed of the system to the Central Public
Service Corporation in November, 1925. The Lincoln branch of this com-
pany was known as the Illinois Public Utility Co. The operating company
at the present time is the Central Illinois Electric and Gas Co.
Atlanta's first telephone line was built by Dr. C. O. Burke. It was
about 15 miles long and connected Armington and Atlanta and was ex-
tended to the home of W. H. Wright in the New Kentucky neighborhood.
Intermediate stations were at the George Albright and J. I. Mountjoy
homes. Shortly after the first line was put in operation, Dr. Banks, an-
other Atlanta physician, built a line to the Gold Springs neighborhood,
west of Atlanta, and in 1898, Dr. Burke added a line to the farms of Albert
Barnes and Charles Atchison, southeast of town.
ks the telephone grew in importance and the business was expanded,
Dr. Burke sold his system to the Palmer-Darnall Electric Co., and Dr.
Banks disposed of his lines to the farmers of Eminence township. For
years, the two systems competed for Atlanta's patronage, and many busi-
ness men and other residents were subscribers of both companies. Finally,
lie Baker Telephone Co., successor to the Palmer-Darnall company,
)ought the Eminence company and the two systems were merged. The
x3aker Telephone Co. was succeeded by the Illinois Commercial Telephone
Co. and it is now known as the General Telephone Co. of Illinois.
RURAL FREE DELIVERY
The first Rural Fr Delivery route in Logan county was established
out of Atlanta, December 4, 1899. The carrier was A. E. Mountjoy, and
the route served 105 families. The route covered the north half of Emi-
nence township. The second and third routes in the county were also
out of Atlanta. John E. Larison was the first carrier on Route 2 and
Milam Perkey on Route 3. The three routes operated out of Atlanta for
many years, but as the roads were improved and better means of trans-
portation became available, one route was dropped and the territory added
to the other two. At the present time, the local carriers cover a distance
of about 45 miles each.
A talk by Dr. W. H. Gardner, of Paris, France, was given at the
Christian Church in Atlanta on March 11, 1917, explaining the organiza-
tion and working of the Red Cross Society. The Atlanta people became
interested and a meeting was held on March 28th to initiate the local
chapter. Mayor J. R. Fawyer became temporary chairman, Mrs. M. F.
Watt, Secretary, M. F. Watt, Treasurer, Mrs. J. R. Patton, membership
chairman of the entire community, with Miss Ella Boosinger, Mrs. C. O.
Burke, and Mrs. F. L. Sumner named chairman of their respective wards.
On April 2nd, the following ten Charter members were listed: Mrs. J. R.
Patton, Mrs. C. O. Burke, Mrs. Hattie Medberry, Mrs. F. L. Sumner, Mrs.
R. G. Bevan, Mrs. M. F. Watt, Mrs. Leo Hitchell, Rev. J. C. Ellenwood,
Dr. J. R. Fawver, and M. F. Watt. Meetings were held each Monday
evening in the schoolhouse, with speakers, music and reports of the boys
in service. By April 24th, the membership had increased to 149, the per-
manent Society was organized. Its officers were: Dr. Maskel Lee, chair-
man; Mrs. C. O. Burke, vice-chairman; M. F. Watt, treasurer; Mrs. M. F.
Watt, secretary; Mrs. J. R. Patton, membership chairman.
Sewing, surgical dressings, and knitting were started. The local chap-
ter furnished the material to the workers. This material was purchased
with funds secured from donations of loyal citizens and later by money
earned by various benefits. The working-committees were set up as fol-
lows: Mrs. G. L. Church, sewing and hospital supplies; Mrs. Nannie Shores,
purchasing committee; Mrs. Edna Applegate, membership; Mrs. M. F.
Watt, publicity; Mrs. Harriet Judy, Mrs. Minnie McKown, Mrs. Maude
Shotwell, Ways and Means; Mrs. R. D. Stetson, citing; Mrs. E. G. Rans-
dell and Mrs. T. C. Harry, inspection and passing.
A room was set up for daily work and instruction with Mrs. Church
in charge. Helpers were appointed to assist each day of the week. The
country school districts also conducted weekly work rooms at their re-
By July, the membership had risen to 235, and the whole community
was working together in this great society. With the beginning of school,
the work rooms were moved to the McKown building, and the various
units divided. Mrs. Church remained general superintendent of work and
chairman of surgical dressings; Mrs. Forgy, sewing; Miss Thomas, knitting;
and Mrs. R. D. McKown, packing and mailing. In October, the work
rooms were moved to the Library. By November, the group was so large
that the surgical dressings were moved to the new Shores and Ewing
Garage, while the knitting department remained in the Library. In
March, 1918, the work room for surgical dressings and sewing was again
moved, this time to the Knecht building north of Shotwell's Drugstore.
On January 1, 1918, the Atlanta Knitters led all of Logan County in
amount of work produced. This was the result of the diligent work done
by individual knitters and the help of a knitting machine donated by
Seward Fields. Mrs. James Shores and Mrs. G. L. Church knit the legs
of the socks on the machine in the evenings. Then Mr. August Wefer
knit in all the toes and heels for them. His wife finished the work by
doing all the washing and blocking.
All members of the Society and other citizens joined forces to secure
the financial aid necessary to meet the expenses for supplies and fill the
national quotas for money and finished articles. Individual donations,
dances, box socials, sale lunches, and many events were put on to raise
money. Outstanding among these activities were the Barn Warming
sponsored by the Hoblit Community Club and the Carnival and Pavement
Dance by the whole community. The Warming of J. W. Hoblit's barn on
April 24, 1918 netted $1000 for the Red Cross Fund. On August 27, 1918,
the Red Cross Carnival was held in downtown Atlanta. An auction of
donated livestock and farm produce was held at 3 p. m. and brought in
$2350.00. A dinner was served in the Murphy Hall beginning at 5 p. m.
and continued until 11 p. m. While this was going on, a Midway was
conducted on the Library lawn, followed by a grand march and street
dance. When the final reports were in, it was found that this united
effort by the community, directed by competent leaders, had added
$6472.82 to the treasury.
The untiring efforts of the chapter were continued as long as there
was any need for it. When the national emergency was over, the Atlanta
Chapter found that they had exceeded all quotas asked of them both in
money and supplies furnished and had a very tidy sum remaining in the
bank. This money was used in following years to meet local needs of the
unfortunate and to help in all national emergency calls. There were no
programs or weekly meetings held after 1920, but the chapter stayed
active and was available at all times should a need arise.
In 1939, the chapter lost Dr. Maskel Lee, who had been their faithful
chairman since the organization in 1917. He was succeeded by Mr. C. H.
Wright, who is chairman at the present time.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Atlanta Red Cross again
rallied to the call. Work committees were appointed with Mrs. G. L.
Church named General Chairman for a second time. Later, she was suc-
ceeded by Mrs. O. F. Mountjoy, who served as general chairman and
chairman of sewing and surgical dressings. Mrs. P. A. Crihfield was her
assistant and inspector. Mrs. Arthur Applegate served as secretary. The
knitting was handled by Mrs. Dean Judy, and then jointly by Mrs. R. D.
Stetson and Mrs. R. G. Wertheim.
During World War II, the supplies were furnished by the Logan
County Chapter and all quotas were turned in to them. Atlanta again
exceeded all quotas. Everyone did his part, and when it was all over
and the hours of service totaled, it was found that Mrs. D. J. Geach held
the honor of having put in more hours of work than any one other in-
Though their efforts have not had the publicity of earlier years, and
so much emphasis is not placed on local chapters at the present, the At-
lanta Red Cross is still active and ready to do its full part whenever the
call is issued.
THE ATLANTA MEMORIAL PARK DISTRICT
The Atlanta Memorial Park District comprises all of Atlanta town-
ship and approximately the eastern half of Eminence township, an aggre-
gate of forty-four full sections. It was established by the voters of those
communities for the purpose of providing a means of maintainance for the
Atlanta-Eminence Community Memorial building.
At the same time and at the same voting places a governing board
consisting of five commissioners was elected. They were Mrs. Harold
Wiseman, Frank D. Hoblit, Dr. R. L. Ijams of Atlanta township, and Mrs.
Murrel Miller and Barrett F. Rogers of Eminence township. At their
organization meeting they elected as president Frank D. Hoblit, to whose
efforts, more than those of any other one individual, the project owes its
The Atlanta-Eminence Memorial Building
A tax rate of not to exceed eighty percent of one mill per dollar of
the property valuation is levied to provide the means by which the building
and surroundings are maintained and operated.
The formation of the park district and the establishment of the Com-
munity house was the outgrowth of a long-felt need for a gathering place
and recreational center for the town and surrounding community. The
decision to provide such a place and dedicate it as a lasting memorial to
the soldiers of World Wars I and II brought about the wholehearted
support of practically everyone.
A fund of $1700 had been raised by popular subscription during World
War II to build some sort of a memorial, but was not immediately used
for that purpose. Returning soldiers asked that it be put to some practi-
cal use; and so the idea of a community Memorial center was born. A
fund of $5,503 was contributed by the now defunct Murphy Hall associa-
tion. The Atlanta Woman's Club turned over their building fund of more
than $1500. Smaller contributions from other civic organizations, and
very generous ones from individuals brought the building fund up to
With this amount the board was able to buy the commodious and
well situated Patton residence. It was restored and remodelled to fit the
necessities of the community. On the main floor of the house there are
a good sized auditorium, an attractive parlor, ladies' lounge and a well
In the wide hall, occupying the place of honor, is a Memorial plaque
on which is inscribed the names of all service personnel who went from
Atlanta and vicinity. There are 173 names for the first war and 283 for
the second. Eighteen are marked with gold stars.
On the second floor are the care-takers' quarters, the Legion room
and the Girl Scout rooms. The basement has recreation rooms and equip-
ment. In winter months recreation directors have been employed.
The Boy Scouts have their quarters in the second story of the garage
at the rear of the building. Here are also rest rooms which serve the
park. The grounds surrounding these buildings are artistically landscaped.
The Atlanta Park which adjoins was deeded to the Park District on
Oct. 1, 1947 and has since been administered and maintained as a part of
the Community building set-up.
The Atlanta-Eminence Community Memorial building was turned
over to the public on Nov. 1, 1947. Governor Lester C. Hunt of Wyoming,
a former Atlanta boy, gave the dedicatory address.
The Community Center has now been in operation for five years, and
has fulfilled the hopes of its instigators. It serves well the whole com-
munity. It is the home of the American Legion and its Auxiliary, the
Woman's Club, the Junior Woman's Club, the Rotary Club, the Girl Scouts
and the Boy Scouts. The Atlanta and Eminence Home Bureaus meet
there when they desire, as do all other civic organizations. They may
have the use of the building free of cost, after making proper arrange-
ments with the caretakers. Private parties are charged a small fee.
The first secretary of the Park Board was E. B. Ransdell; James Ash
has served continuously as treasurer.
THE ATLANTA PUBLIC PARK
The Atlanta Public Park is a part of the city of Atlanta as originally
platted by its founders, Richard Gill and A. W. Morgan. It is one whole
block lying between Race and Vine, and Seventh and Eighth Streets. It
was apparently a gift fyom the founders of the young town to the citizens
An issue of the Logan County Forum, June 19, 1856 contains an
account of a "mite society," newly formed, "having as its object the
important purpose of improving and decorating the city park, and carry-
ing out other such projects as the society might see fit to sponsor."
The officers elected were, President A. W. Morgan, Vice president
Geo. L. Parker, Secretary S. D. Fisher, Treasurer Jeff L. Dunegan; the
board of Trustees, A. N. Dills, A. K. Martin, R. H. Killen.
A committee of ten ladies, Mrs. G. L. Parker, Mrs. John Pallady,
Mrs. G. M. Angell, Mrs. A. K. Martin, Mrs. J. H. Ball, Mrs. S. D. Fisher,
Misses Belle Tenney, L. Randolph, J. Leonard, and J. Allen, was named
"to attend to financial matters." Membership fee for the ladies was fifty
cents and one dollar for the men. Fifty names were enrolled at the first
meeting and many more were subsequently added.
The editor of the Forum, S. B. Dugger comments: "Since the only
objection to our town that any one can have is that it is out on the open
prairie with no trees to protect it," the mite society should "purchase and
set out trees on each side of every street in town, commencing on one
side with one kind of tree, and plant them from one end to the other;
and another street with another kind and at the corner of each plant a
Since many of the large maple and elm trees along our streets and
those in the park appear to be nearing the century mark, it seems fair
to assume that his suggestion was adopted. If the "good-sized poplars"
were planted, they have long since passed into oblivion.
Although the trees grew well, the park often suffered neglect, and
was unkempt and weed-grown. Because of the ample facilities for large
public gatherings, furnished by the Atlanta Fair grounds, the park was not
often so used. In the days when chautauquas flourished, the tent was
pitched in the park and the citizens enjoyed the entertainment furnished
by the Lyceum bureaus.
An early band-stand, a small wooden structure, graced the park unti)
the late nineties. In the spring of 1940 a substantial brick and concrete
bandstand was constructed. It was dedicated on the Fourth of July, the.
last Fourth of July celebration that has been held in Atlanta.
The city of Atlanta deeded the park to the Park District on October 1,
1947. Since that time its affairs have been administered by the Park
Board. The care-taker of the Community House cares for and polices the
park. It has become a very pleasant and popular place. Many picnics
and family reunions are held there. A play-ground and tennis court fur-
nish recreation for children and teen-agers. In the fall the American
Legion holds its annual Homecoming festivities there.
THE ATLANTA WOMAN'S CLUB
In the month of January 1899 a group of women were invited to the
home of Mrs. Mary Mix where a club called the "Fortnightly" was or-
ganized. The membership was limited to forty, and the dues were twenty-
five cents per year. The chief aim of the club was to develop literary
taste and culture and the first book purchased was "When Knighthood
Was in Flower." This book was passed among the members who enjoyed
it and discussed it and then gave it to the Library.
In June of 1900 the Club voted to change its name to "The Atlanta
Woman's Club" and the first president was Mrs. C. C. Sater. A little
later the Club dues were raised to a dollar; the Club joined the General
Federation and sent two members to St. Louis as representatives or dele-
gates. Also a rental shelf was established at the Library in October of
1924, with an initial gift of one hundred dollars. The limit on the number
of members was rescinded.
Feeling that the Club needed a meeting place of its own a building
fund was started and grew to quite a goodly sum. In the spring of 1947
the Club voted to turn this fund, more than fifteen hundred dollars,
over to those in charge of securing funds for the purchase of the J. R.
Patton home, which is now known as the Atlanta-Eminence Memorial
Home. Now, after many years during which meetings were held in var-
ious halls and in the churches, the Club meets in the Atlanta-Eminence
Through the years twenty-seven presidents have served the Club,
each one doing her bit to make our community a better place in which
The present membership is almost one hundred and the Club dues
are three dollars per year.
The Atlanta Woman's Club cooperates with the Atlanta Junior Wom-
an's Club to sponsor Girl Scouting in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Woman's Club is affiliated with the General Federation,
the Illinois Federation, the Seventeenth District Federation and the Logan
County Federation of Women's Clubs.
Miss Ida V. Hieronymus served as State Chairman of Indian Welfare
for two years, 1947-1949.
Those who have served as District Presidents are Mrs. A. B. Apple-
gate and Miss Ida V. Hieronymus; and as County Presidents are Mrs.
Charles Hayward, Mrs. J. R. Patton, Mrs. Maskel Lee and Mrs. Claude I.
Miller. Mrs. Hayward was the first County President.
THE ATLANTA JUNIOR WOMAN'S CLUB
On April 12, 1935 some of the young ladies of Atlanta met to organize
a Junior Woman's Club. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. J. R.
Patton and all listened to an address by Mrs. Ralph Moratz of Blooming-
ton on this movement. Miss Nancy Hoblit acted as chairman for the
evening. Eleven of the thirteen present signed to join the Club. Then on
April 18, 1935 the members of the newly organized Atlanta Junior
Woman's Club met at the home of Mrs. Patton for election of officers.
The following were elected: President, Mrs. Thelma Rush; Vice President,
Miss Nancy Hoblit; Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Marian Hieronymus. This
Club was sponsored by the Atlanta Woman's Club and had a membership
of twenty. The first regular meeting was held at the home of Miss Nancy
Hoblit and was of a social nature. Then on October 2, 1935 the group
began holding their meetings in the Woman's Club rooms, which at that
time were Woodman Hall, later the churches, with regularly arranged
Despite difficulties the Club has continued to grow in numbers and
interest and is now an active participant in many worthwhile projects
of the community, among which is the co-sponsorship with the Atlanta
Woman's Club, of the Atlanta Girl Scouts.
The Club is affiliated with the General Federation, the Illinois Fed-
eration, the Seventeenth District Federation and the Logan County Fed-
Eleven presidents have served the Club which now has a membership
of forty- three.
Miss Charlotte Ann Bevan was District Junior Director during 1946-
1947, Mrs. Pauline Pittenger during 1950-1951.
THE AMERICAN LEGION
The American Legion, Gresham-Crutchley Post No. 341 was organized
in 1920. There were forty-seven charter members: Dr. George W. Brock,
Commander; Allen Applegate, Orville Atteberry, W. R. Barr, Allen Becker,
Letto F. Becker, Lorin J. Bennett, J. E. Botkin, J. L. Bradway, Loy S.
Brandt, Wayne Brandt, Fred L. Cheek, Walter E. Cheek, Dean Clawson,
R. E. Crihfield, Albert Dreher, R. W. Dunham, Mark Ellis, Clifton C.
Ewing, W. C. Finfrock, Leslie Gresham, Jesse L. Griffin, Carl Hawes,
Elbert Hieronymus, Merlin Huber, Kenneth E. James, Milton Kieszling,
Owen McKevitt, James McKown, Dean Montgomery, Earl L. Mountjoy,
Keith W. Murphy, James L. Oldaker, Clyde E. Pack, Arthur Pech, E.
Blinn Ransdell, John Neil Rice, Paul A. Schmidt, David W. Sullivan,
Harold Wagner, Harry H. Watt, Wendell Watt, Wayne H. Weber, C. O.
Wedeberg, Charles Williams, Clarence Wilmert and Norven Zoffer.
The Post was named for the two boys who lost their lives in World
War I,Bert Gresham and Roy Crutchley.
The Post first met in the rooms over the Kitchell grocery. In 1936
it v/as decided to buy the home of the late T. N. Hamilton. Jesse Botkin
was commander at this time. By volunteer labor of the members this
home was soon converted into an adequate Legion Home.
In 1947, after World War II, it was voted to sell this home and help
buy the J. R. Patton house with the intention that it be made into a com-
munity Memorial center. This center is known as the Atlanta-Eminence
Community Memorial. It is a memorial to the soldiers of World Wars I
The Legion supports many community activities. Beginning in 1950
the Legion has sponsored an annual Atlanta Homecoming. There are now
THE AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
The American Legion Auxiliary was organized November 14, 1930.
The charter members were: President, Mrs. Laurinda Watt; 1st Vice-
President, Mrs. Dessie Becker; 2nd Vice-President, Mrs. Annie Hayter;
Secretary, Mrs. Ruth Crawford; Treasurer, Mrs. Mabel Clawson; Chap-
lain, Mrs. May Griffin; Sergeant-at-Arms, Mrs. Leatha Ryan; Mrs. Wavie
Botkin, Miss Maude Gehlbach, Mrs. Eliza Griffin, Mrs. Rhoda Hayter,
Mrs. Katherine Johnson, Mrs. Anna Kearney, Mrs. Norma Kindred, Mrs.
Jessie Kistner and Mrs. Mabel Myers Temple.
The Legion rooms were in the K. of P. building across from the
Public Library. Meetings were held the first and third Mondays of each
month. The first meeting was a business meeting held in the evening.
The second meeting in the month was a social meeting held in the home
of one of the members in the afternoon.
This Auxiliary Unit became inactive after a few years.
GRESHAM-CRUTCHLEY UNIT No. 341
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
The Gresham-Crutchley Unit 341 American Legion Auxiliary was
organized Oct. 4, 1940. The Unit was named for Bert Gresham and Roy
Franklin Crutchley both of whom lost their lives in World War I.
The charter members were: President, Mrs. Grace Short; 1st Vice-
President, Mrs. Ruth Schmidt; 2nd Vice-President, Mrs. Mary Patton;
Secretary, Mrs. Mary Brandt; Treasurer, Mrs. Blanche Wiseman; His-
torian, Mrs. Leatha Ryan; Chaplain, Mrs. Iva Horn; Mrs. Ruth Applegate,
Miss Grace Baldwin, Mrs. Lena Baldwin, Mrs. Dessie Becker, Mrs. Georgia
Blackwood, Mrs. Emma Borgelt, Mrs. Aileen Bradway, Mrs. Hazel Brandt,
Mrs. Rena Compton, Mrs. Susie Crutchley, Mrs. Millie Dillon, Mrs. Eliza
Griffin, Mrs. May Griffin, Mrs. Nellie Harkreader, Mrs. Hazel Huber, Mrs.
Venus Lake, Mrs. Cora Mountjoy, Mrs. Rachel Perlman, Mrs. Stella Rein-
hart, Mrs. Elizabeth Speciale, Mrs. Irma Tuttle, Mrs. Doris Usherwood,
Mrs. Hazel Vogt and Mrs. Verda Wagner.
The present membership is one hundred twenty-five.
The Auxiliary contributes to the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Chil-
drens School at Normal, the Veterans Hospitals at Dwight and Danville
and to the Veterans at the Lincoln State School and Colony.
Each year the Unit sends a girl to Ulini Girls State, gives a scholar-
ship medal, based on courage, leadership, honor and scholarship, to an
eighth grade girl, sponsors a poppy poster contest for school children and
sponsors an Americanism essay contest for school children.
Members who are Gold Star Mothers are Mrs. Roscoe Williams and
Mrs. Louis Baker.
Gold Star Mothers who have been members are Mrs. Minnie Young,
Mrs. Nellie Brandt, Mrs. Blanche Williams, Mrs. Jessie Hubner, Mrs.
Edward Purlee and Mrs. Susie Crutchley.
THE ATLANTA SPORTMEN'S CLUB
The early settlers of Illinois found the prairies abounding in game of
all kinds which afforded good meat for food and hides for clothing.
Hunters and trappers came in large numbers to establish homes. They
encountered many buffalo herds, also wolves, foxes, beavers and otters;
also smaller game such as racoon, prairie chickens, wild turkeys, cotton
tail rabbits and wild ducks and fish along the rivers.
Gradually the land was cleared and eager Sportmen of the state who
wished to exercise their skill with firearms formed clubs of various sorts.
In 1927 Atlanta organized a Gun Club for the purpose of becoming
skilled in trap shooting and marksmanship. Oran Atteberry was chosen
president and J. A. Ash, secretary-treasurer.
Then in September 1928 the Club was reorganized and became the
Atlanta Sportsman's Club. This group was not very active until 1934.
Several fox drives were held.
In 1937 the Club organized as the Atlanta Chapter of the Logan
County Sportmen's Club through the Lincoln Chapter and was also a
member of the Illinois Federation. Its aim is bird rearing, feeding of
game birds in winter, game cover and general hunting.
The Club has grown to one hundred in membership and in 1947 took
out its own Charter and is now working with the Conservation Depart-
ment at Springfield to establish recreation centers, to improve game laws,
to eliminate pollution of streams and to reclaim flood lands along the
Illinois River. To Otis Hulva goes much of the credit for the continued
activities of this Club.
The Atlanta Rotary Club No. 4142 of District No. 215 was organized
in February 1937 with Charter Night being Feb. 23rd, 1937, under the
sponsorship of the Lincoln Rotary Club.
Charter Night was attended by some 350 Rotarians, their wives and
guests and was held in the High School Gym.
Dr. R. Lynn Ijams was the first president, with Charlew Few, Vice
President; Ernest Seelye, Secretary-Treasurer, and Haskell Montgomery.
Sergeant at Arms.
The Board of Directors consisted of the following members: R. L.
Ijams, Richard Patton, J. M. Dowdy, J. A. Hoblit, P. A. Crihfield, Charles
F. Few and L. E. Mason.
Regular meetings were to be held at 12:15 each Wednesday at the
There were 35 charter members and fourteen of the original Charter
members are still active members and one is an honorary member.
One member of the Club, J. M. Dowdy, has a record of perfect at-
tendance. The Club is known throughout the present District as one of
the top clubs in attendance.
The Club has aided and sponsored numerous projects during its
sixteen years as a service Club, but is best known for its sponsorship
and work with the Boy Scouts of Atlanta.
At present the Club alternates its noonday meetings between the
Christian Church, the Methodist Church and the Atlanta-Eminence Com-
In 1915 the first Boy Scout troop was organized by Rev. Robert H.
Newton, pastor of the Christian Church. It was sponsored by the churches
of Atlanta and the Scouts met in the basement of the new Christian
Church. The boys in the troop raised funds by caring for lawns and gar-
dens. Of the fifteen boys who formed the first troop only two now live
When the United States entered World War 1 some of the older boys
enlisted. The spirit of Scouting lived, but for a time there was no regular
On January 4, 1926 Troop 23 of Logan County Boy Scouts was or-
ganized, with Allen Houser as Scoutmaster. It was sponsored by a group
of interested citizens and the Scouts met in the Library basement. The
boys formed their own band and played for local gatherings.
June Crandall and Verne Riley were the troop's first Eagle Scouts.
Conrad Miller was chosen to represent the Council at Culver Camp. The
troop won many awards, among them a silver loving cup.
After the Council acquired Camp Griesheim, Atlanta contributed and
erected one of the cabins.
At one time, during the period that J. B. Austin was Scoutmaster and
Harold Haines assistant Scoutmaster there were six Eagle Scouts in the
troop — Robert Applegate, Robert Crihfield, Thomas Hieronymus, Richard
Howser, Bernard Twomey, Jr. and Carl Watt. The troop attended a
Region 7 Camporee at Terre Haute, Indiana and came home with a blue
The Atlanta Rotary Club has sponsored Boy Scouts in Atlanta con-
tinuously since 1938 or '39.
In 1943 the troop was reorganized by Scoutmaster Harold Haines and
his assistants, Dick Gilbert, Dick Schmidt and Barrett W. Rogers. Mr.
Haines was awarded the Scoutmaster's Key for length of service and out-
standing qualities of leadership. Bob Ellis, one of the Scouts in the troop,
had the pleasure of seeing his father, Judge William S. Ellis, one of the
original incorporators of the Logan County Council, awarded the Silver
Beaver on February 12, 1946.
Three Scouts, Lynn Hieronymus, Allyn Ijams and Larry Johnson,
received Eagle awards, January 26, 1950. Bob Ellis and Jim Dickerson
went as delegates to the International Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley
Forge, June 25, 1950. George Brock was Scoutmaster.
The Atlanta Scouts are now Troop 123 of the Prairie Trails District
of the Corn Belt Council Boy Scouts of America. They have their quar-
ters on the second floor of the garage at the rear of the Community
Building. The Troop Committee, the fathers and the Park District Board
worked together to make these quarters a suitable meeting place.
THE CUB SCOUTS
On October 21, 1936 the Parent Teacher Association voted to sponsor
a Cub Scout program in Atlanta. The following committee was appointed:
William S. Ellis, Joseph Billeter, Mrs. Madeline Watt and Mrs. Leska
The first Cub Scout Pack was organized in November, 1936. A train-
ing course in Cubbing was given by William S. Ellis. The Charter was
received January 14, 1937. Mr. Ellis was the first Cubmaster; Thomas
H. Tuttle was the first assistant. Members of the first Pack committee
were G. H. Tuttle, Phillip McCullough and J. P. Billeter. Mrs. Maxey
Sugg was the first Den Mother, and Robert Applegate and Carl Watt were
the Den Chiefs. William S. Ellis, Jr. was the first Atlanta Cub to pass
the Bobcat requirements.
After a few years interest lagged and Cubbing was inactive until 1948.
The Atlanta Cub Scout Pack No. 123 was organized April 24, 1948. The
Charter was received May 15, 1948, at which time an Indian Ceremonial
was presented by the Pack. The Couples Class of the Methodist Church
has continuously sponsored this group. Edward Pittenger and Leland H.
Dunham were the first institutional representatives; George Stunkard the
first Cubmaster; Eldon Givens, the first Assistant Cubmaster. The Pack,
consisting of twenty-one boys, was divided into three dens. Mrs. George
Stunkard, Mrs. Edward Pittenger and Mrs. Homer Hamblin were Den
Mothers; Robert M. Ellis, Lynn Hieronymus and Allyn Ijams were Den
Chiefs. Dr. R. L. Ijams and Russell Daugherty, Scout Executive for the
Prairie Trails District, were active in the establishment of this Pack.
Weekly Den meetings are held for the boys in the homes of the Den
Mothers and monthly meetings are held at the Atlanta-Eminence Memor-
ial home for the parents and Cubs. The Cub program furnishes fun for
the boys and guidance in developing character, skill and interests. It
fulfills the need of boys for belonging to a "gang."
The first step toward Girl Scouting in Atlanta was taken by the At-
lanta Woman's Club. On Nov. 10, 1937 that organization voted to sponsor
Girl Scouting in this community. The objectives of the Girl Scout organi-
zation are: character building, creative recreation, responsible and demo-
cratic citizenship, community service, world friendship, the development
of skills and attitudes that build better human relationships, which, in
turn, make happier homes in better communities.
On Jan. 5, 1938 the president of the Woman's Club appointed the first
Troop Committee as follows: Mrs. Arthur Applegate, Mrs. Frank Bevan,
Mrs. Oran Brandt, Mrs. Roy Colaw and Mrs. Harold Wiseman. After
several meetings of the Troop Committee, mothers, potential leaders and
a National Staff representative, two "Lone Troops" were registered with
the National Organization May 5, 1938. During the first year of Girl
Scouting forty-four girls, ten to fourteen years of age, and eleven adults
were registered. Miss Emma Wiggers, Miss Esther Voile, Miss Mildred
Kurth and Miss Pauline Lundgren were among the first of the Girl Scout
The Atlanta Junior Woman's Club, soon after it was organized, voted
to cooperate with the Atlanta Woman's Club in sponsoring the Girl Scouts.
Mrs. Robert McKown and Mrs. Robert Wertheim, serving during the year
1940-41, were the first Girl Scout Committee.
Girl Scouting continued active, having an average registration of
thirty-three girls and nine adults, until May of 1943 when there were no
In March 1946 Mrs. Elton Fuller, Mrs. Sam Ewing and Mrs. Darrell
Rankin volunteered to serve as leaders and Girl Scouting was revived.
Twenty-nine girls, ages eleven, twelve and thirteen, and six adults were
In March, 1947 the first Brownie troop was organized in Atlanta.
Twenty-two girls, ages seven, eight and nine, and five adults were regis-
tered. Mrs. Harold Gilbert and Mrs. Cecil French were leaders.
In January, 1947 the troops in Atlanta ceased to be "Lone Troops"
when the Atlanta Girl Scout Association was formed as part of the Logan
County Council. Mrs. Paul Schmidt was chairman and Mrs. Eldon Givens,
vice-chairman of the new organization.
Mrs. Paul Schmidt has served as president of the Logan County Girl
Scout Board of Directors and Mrs. R. L. Ijams has served as program
chairman of the Logan County Council; Mrs. Arthur Applegate has served
as a member of the program committee; Mrs. Elton Fuller has served as
chairman of the County Membership-Nominating Committee; Mrs. Eldon
Givens has served as a member of the County Staff and Office Committee.
In February, 1948 the Girl Scouts were assigned a room in the At-
lanta-Eminence Memorial Home and in April the mothers and fathers of
the girls furnished and decorated it, making it a most attractive meeting
place. The Girl Scouts helped with a general money making project for
the benefit of the Memorial Home fund.
With the advantages of better training for leaders and a wider scope
of program activities which were a result of Council membership, the
scouting standards of both girls and adults have steadily risen.
In September, 1950 the first Senior Scout troop was organized. Mrs.
D. A. Hofer and Mrs. Merle Liesman were leaders. Fourteen girls, ages
fourteen to eighteen, and five adults were registered.
Joyce Bateman, Virginia Bateman, Dorothy Dyer, Barbara Gilbert,
Sally Givens, Joyce Ijams, Lynd Wertheim and Hannah Ijams have earned
and have awarded the Curved Bar.
At present there are eighty-four girls and thirty-three adults regis-
FARM BUREAU AND THE 4-H CLUB
The Logan County Farm Bureau was organized Dec. 5, 1917 with
approximately 300 charter members. Murrel Miller was elected to the
first executive board. Mr. E. T. Ebersol, first Farm Adviser, was em-
ployed February 1, 1918. In January, 1922 the Farm Bureau "Reflector,"
issued monthly was first published. Its purpose is to keep members in-
formed on all activities of the organization.
Among the services offered by the Farm Bureau are: assistance in
the formation of co-operative and pure bred livestock associations, pro-
curing high quality seed, sponsoring a baseball team and 4-H Clubs,
maintaining a farm help bureau, a soil testing laboratory and a producer's
market, making available information on insect and parasite control and
offering all branches of insurance through the insurance department.
Atlanta Community was represented at the Producer's Market by
Mrs. Fred Zollars, Mrs. James L. Bradway, Mrs. F. L. Sumner and Mrs.
Dean A. Hoblit, whose culinary offerings were always in great demand.
Since 1943 many families have been enrolled in the Blue Cross Plan
for hospital care through the Farm Bureau.
The County Rural Youth, sponsored by the Farm Bureau, is very
active. Richard Applegate was one of the first presidents of this group.
On October 21, 1947, the Logan Farm Service Company was organ-
ized and now has service stations in several Logan County towns. J.
Hardin Ellis represents the Atlanta territory on this board.
In the fall of 1938 the Logan County Co-operative Food Locker was
formed. In 1945 they purchased the My rick plant in Atlanta which they
operated until the present new building was completed. E. L. Hughes
has been a director on the board from this vicinity since 1943.
The artificial semination program was started in the fall of 1949.
Both the Agricultural and Home Economic 4-H Clubs were sponsored
by the Farm Bureau until 1946 when the present Home Bureau was or-
ganized and became the sponsor for the Home Economic Clubs. Much
credit is due Mr. Oscar F. Mountjoy and Mr. J. A. Hoblit, Sr. for the first
corn and beef 4-H clubs in this area. The farm girls and boys of the
community have shown a great deal of interest in these projects and have
won some important awards. Among the State corn award winners were:
Arthur Miller, highest yielding acre plot; Julia Irish, Corn Princess Utility
Corn Show; John A. Hoblit, Jr., Corn Prince Utility Corn Show and
Joseph B. Mountjoy, Corn Prince Utility Corn Show.
Frank D. Hoblit and Carolyn Mountjoy received blue ribbons in the
County Calf Club show.
A large number of the Club members have received top awards at
the County Fair.
John T. Brandt won the 4-H Championship on sheep at the Interna-
tional Show; Robert M. Ellis, first place State Sheep Production; Lyle
Miller, first place State Dairy Judging and Walter Rankin, first place
State Dairy Heifer.
In 1948 John W. Horn received the medal from the Lincoln Kiwanis
Club, an award given annually to the outstanding 4-H Club boy or girl in
HOME BUREAU AND THE 4-H CLUB
On April 20, 1918 Atlanta was represented at a meeting of the Logan
County Committee of Women's Council of National Defense at Lincoln
to discuss the need for a leader of an organization which would render
a greater service to the war emergency work. Under the direction of
this leader, or Women's County Adviser, conservation of food, uses of
substitutes in a balanced ration, conservation of health and child welfare
would be taught. Speakers from the extension department of the U. of
Illinois appeared before various women's groups to demonstrate the use
The Atlanta Women's Council of National Defense, registered Nov.
1917, met at the school house June 14, 1918 and the Atlanta Unit of the
Logan County Home Improvement Association was organized. Mrs. A.
B. Applegate was elected Chairman and Mrs. Maskel Lee, Secretary. Mrs.
A. B. Applegate was selected as temporary representative on the county
board with Mrs. A. P. Miller as alternate.
On June 28, 1918 at a meeting in Lincoln of the chairmen of all dis-
tricts of the Logan County Home Improvement Association, the first
Logan County Home Bureau was organized. Mrs. A. B. Applegate was
appointed to serve on the committee to secure a Home Adviser. Miss
Lena Corzine was the first Home Adviser and began her work October
15, 1918. The following members of the Atlanta Unit served on the county
board: Mrs. A. B. Applegate, Mrs. Bert McKinnon and Mrs. J. R. Patton.
Mrs. John A. Hoblit and Mrs. Herman Hahn were unit representatives.
The Atlanta Unit met the third Friday of each month. The meetings
were held in the Atlanta Library, the school house, the Baptist Church and
in the homes of members. Production, preservation and nutrition of foods,
improvement of home furnishings to promote happier family living, health,
clothing construction and household accounts were some of the projects.
On October 15, 1920 a tour of the model home of Mrs. H. M. Dunlap
at Savoy, Illinois was made by members of the Home Bureau; four cars
of women representing the Atlanta Unit attended. Mrs. John A. Hoblit
was County Tour Chairman.
Members of the Atlanta Unit served as hostesses at the Home Bureau
tent maintained at the Lincoln Chautauqua for the convenience of Logan
County Home Bureau members attending Chautauqua during the summer
of 1921. The dues of $2.00 were raised to $3.00 in 1921.
The response to the efforts of local leaders, the Home Adviser and
the U. of Illinois extension service was not great enough to make possible
the continuation of the organization after the year 1922.
A group of women representing the townships of the county met Jan.
29, 1946 to discuss the possibility of organizing a Home Bureau. On April
23, 1946 the Logan County Home Bureau was organized with 540 mem-
bers. It was incorporated in July, 1946. Mrs. Harold O. Quisenberry
represented the Atlanta and Eminence Units as director on the first Exec-
utive Board of the Logan County Home Bureau. Mrs. Mabel Albrecht
has served continuously as Home Adviser. The Atlanta Unit was organ-
ized July 16, 1946. Mrs. Frank Bevan was elected chairman; Mrs. DeWitt
Yeast, vice chairman and Mrs. Howard Hieronymus, secretary-treasurer.
There were 80 active and 10 associate members. The membership dues
The aim of the Home Bureau is — -"To have every home economically
sound, mechanically convenient, morally wholesome, mentally stimulat-
ing, artistically satisfying, physically healthful, socially responsible, spirit-
ually inspiring, founded on mutual affection and respect."
Meetings were first held in Woodman Hall, later in the Agriculture
room at the school house. On December 18, 1947 the new Atlanta-Emi-
nence Memorial Home became the regular meeting place.
Lesson projects have included home furnishings, family living, foods
and nutrition, home management, health, clothing and child guidance and
hand craft. Included in hand craft were glove making, leather tooling,
metal craft, textile painting, chair caning, shell craft, decorative stitches
and rug making.
The County organization has sponsored several tours, among them a
tour of New Orleans, La. and Natchez, Miss, in 1947; tours of Holland,
Mich, at tulip time in 1947 and 1949; tours of Washington, D. C. in 1947
and 1950. The Atlanta Unit co-operates each year in conducting T. B.
X-rays and contributes to the Cancer and Polio funds.
A "Breakfast in Hollywood" was held Jan. 11, 1947 in the High School
gymnasium as a money making project. A large crowd attended and
enjoyed Tommy Bartlett's program and the hat contest.
In May, 1929 the first Atlanta Home Economics 4-H Club was organ-
ized, with Mrs. O. F. Mountjoy, leader. Twenty-four girls, ages ten
through seventeen, were enrolled as members. Meetings were held in the
Atlanta school hous and in the Hoblit rural school. The following girls
were delegates to the State Contest: Carolyn Mountjoy and Julia Irish,
dress revue delegates; Nadine Heft and Irma Brandt, delegates for the
judging of clothing. Helen Paulsen was a Foods Project delegate to the
After five years of successful work the Club became inactive and
there were no 4-H Economic Clubs until the organization of the Logan
County Home Bureau in 1946.
When the local unit of the Home Bureau first organized it sponsored
three 4-H Clubs. Mrs. Arthur Begolka, Mrs. William Turner and Mrs.
DeWitt Yeast were leaders. Mrs. Yeast is a present member of the
County 4-H Committee. Sixty-five girls have been active in 4-H work
during the past six years. Dixie Lee Baker was a delegate for dress
revue from Logan County to the State Fair in 1951; Rosemary Bruce
entered her dress to be judged for clothing construction at the State Fair
in 1952; Lynd Wertheim attended 4-H camp in Petersburg in 1947- Alice
Begolka served on the County 4-H Federation Board in 1949.
Following is the pledge of the 4-H Club— "I pledge my head to
clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service,
my health to better living, for my club, my community and my country."
ATLANTA'S DRY-POINT ETCHER
Otto Schneider, one of Atlanta's early residents, studied and "drew
pictures" in Atlanta's school; and later rose to the top in his chosen pro-
fession as a dry-point etcher.
After studying abroad, he settled in Chicago, where he established his
own portrait studio and did work for the Chicago newspapers and the
"Roycrofters" of East Aurora, N. Y.
An appreciation of his work, by Booth Tarkington, appears in the
October, 1905 issue of the "Metropolitan Magazine," now on file at the
Public Library; and a signed sample of his etchings may be seen at the
home of Harry Tuttle.
A PIONEER IN BUSINESS
One of Atlanta's pioneer business men was A. E. Church who estab-
lished a furniture store in 1857.
Being a cabinet maker it fell to his lot, as was customary in those
days, to make "coffins" upon request. These were of walnut lumber and
varnished, or of pine and covered with black velvet.
As none were "carried in stock," each one was "made to measure"
and he often worked all night, with someone holding a lamp for him.
No other service was rendered by him then — not even a hearse.
Neighbors would bathe and dress the body; if a minister was available
he would give the funeral sermon and the coffin would be taken to the
cemetery in a "lumber wagon" and lowered by lines taken from one of
the sets of harness into a grave opened by friends.
The cemeteries were not far away, many of them being started as
private burial plots by families in the vicinity. After a hearse was bought
for local use it visited more than twenty-two cemeteries.
When partial embalming came into use the necessary instruments
were carried into the home in a small wooden box with a hinged cover.
The embalming fluid was carried in a demijohn. (Long after arterial
embalmment came into practice, all the necessary equipment was taken
into the home, where the preparation of the body was done, almost with-
out exception, until the first Funeral Home was established in Atlanta
Of the 170 "coffins" he furnished in 1865, ninety-nine were for chil-
dren and babies! In 1850 a child, at birth, had a life expectancy of only
thirty-nine years. Today the life expectancy is sixty-seven years.
A FARMER IN 1840
The Tuttle family came from Xenia, Ohio to Logan County, Illinois
in 1840, and engaged in farming, brick making and sawing hardwood
lumber before the Chicago and Alton Railroad was built or Atlanta
"Uncle Jimmy" Tuttle used to drive hogs to Pekin, Illinois. On one
such occasion he had some of the silver dollars he received in payment
for the pigs melted and cast into spoons. Some of these spoons are still
in the possession of his descendants.
The first school attended by his son "D" was at Roach's Chapel near
the Roach Cemetery. The Chapel served as the community building and
was the scene of many entertainments and spelling bees, which were
probably enjoyed as much as our present day Movies, and at a very small
fraction of the cost. Roach's Chapel is no longer standing.
MEMOIRS OF JOHN STRONG
According to the memoirs of the late John Strong, the friendship of
his father, Sylvester Strong, with Abraham Lincoln was one of the most
significant of his memories. He mentioned especially the presentation of
the cane to Lincoln at the Fourth of July celebration in 1859.
John Strong's first earnings were for plowing corn for his uncles with
a yoke of oxen and a home-made plow at a "bit" (12^ cents) a day! At
that time letter postage was 25c — paid at the post-office upon receipt of
the letter, as there were no postage stamps until 1846 and letters were often
sent by friends who happened to be travelling to their destination. Wool
from their own sheep was taken to Bloomington for carding, and then made
into thread on the hand spinning-wheels then in universal use, after which
it was knitted into mittens, stockings, etc., or woven into cloth on their
own hand looms for making into clothing.
In those days it took the combined efforts of the whole family to
provide food, fuel, clothing, candles, soap and all the other necessities of
Church's Band, of Atlanta, was organized about 1903 by George L.
Church, popular Undertaker and Furniture Dealer of Atlanta.
The members were boys of High School age and several of the older
musicians who had former band experience with some of the earlier bands
They held regular rehearsals and were soon playing engagements for
the community. Each summer they played a series of concerts on the
"Square" in Atlanta, which were partly supported by free-will contribu-
tions of the local merchants. They also played for picnics, political ral-
lies, church suppers and many other community affairs.
For many years the band secured money for expenses from the pro-
ceeds of the annual "Church's Minstrel Show," which always filled "Mur-
phy's Hall" to overflowing.
The Atlanta Fair was one of the main attractions for which the band
always played. They were usually "reinforced" by two or three "outside"
players; and also, for a number of years, by members of the Calahan
Dramatic Company band. This troupe played annual "Fair Week" en-
gagements at "Murphy's Hall" and always had a good band with them.
Church's Band was not only an integral part of this community, but
was well known in surrounding towns; and played many engagements in
Armington, Emden, Hartsburg, Lincoln, McLean and Waynesville.
The Band carried on for many years, until "Churchie's" sudden
death in 1924, after which the band library of music and some of the
instruments, which the band owned were given to the Atlanta School
Church's Band About 1915
Left to Right: Mark Ellis, Harry Merry, Joe Ash, Glenn Towne, Clif-
ford Hawes, Joe King, Wilbur Hawes, Henshaw, Harry Coons,
Murrel Miller, Charlie Lake, Cecil Goose, Clarence Wilmert, Charlie Gip-
son, Barrett Rogers, Merlin Dowdy, Dean Judy, Albert Dreher, Rolla
Williams, Wendell Watt, Louie Thompson, George Church, Corbin,
Grant Kinsey, Harry Dreher, Paul Schmidt, Scott, Gus Adams,
Harry Watt, Harold Kearney.
THE FIRE WHISTLE
Many who stillremember the shrill fire alarm of the steam whistle
at the waterworks plant will read with interest the following description
published in the Atlanta Argus in the issue of April 10, 1896: "The City
Council has placed a fire alarm on the waterworks that is a holy terror.
It carries calamity in its voice, which is a combination of the war whoop
of a Comanche Indian and the dying wail of a stuck pig. It is to be hoped
that there will be little necessity for its use."
THE COAL MINE
Atlanta had visions of a major industry, when in 1867 a company
was formed for the purpose of sinking a coal shaft. The boring for coal
began Nov. 26 of that year and a good vein of coal was reached at a
depth of 245 feet. Owing, however, to the great difficulty experienced in
keeping out the water of the underground lake, the project, after repeated
efforts, was abandoned.
THE FOURTH OF JULY RIOT
The Fourth of July riot of 1889 is one of the unpleasant affairs in
Atlanta's history. A baseball game, near the Atlanta Fair grounds, broke
up in a heated argument and later, when the crowds returned to town,
rioting began on the city square. The adherents of Atlanta and Lincoln
fought an all sides of the square, and tragedy was averted only when the
revolver of policeman Henry Dillon failed to function when he pulled the
trigger while he had it pointed at one of the rioters. The disturbance
subsided when the evening train came in and Lincoln people boarded it
to return home.
Abranam Lincoln and Atlanta 7
American Legion, The 72
American Legion Auxiliary, The 72
Atlanta Is Founded 3
Banking in Atlanta 31
Bicycle Age, The 18
7 n >
Boy Scouts to
Cemetery, The Atlanta ™
Electric Lights - 63
Fair, The Atlanta _ . 37
Farm Bureau and 4-H Club 78
Fire Department, The Atlanta 62
Fires in Atlanta 21
Girl Scouts 77
Home Bureau and 4-H Club 79
Horseless Carriage, The 20
Hotels in Atlanta 28
Hotel, The Old, a Poem 29
Library, The Atlanta Public 34
Lodges and Other Organizations 23
Memorial, The Atlanta-Eminence Community 67
Murphy Hall 60
New Castle 3
Park, Atlanta Public 69
Park District, Atlanta Memorial 67
Press, The . 22
Railroads Serving Atlanta 17
Red Cross 64
Rotary Club, The Atlanta 74
Rural Free Delivery 64
Schools, Atlanta 43
Sportsmen's Club, The Atlanta 74
Telephone, The 63
Woman's Club, The Atlanta 70
Woman's Club, The Atlanta Junior 71
Abraham Lincoln 9
Amphitheater, Fair Grounds 39
Atlanta, As It Is Today 82
Atlanta-Eminence Memorial Building 67
Atlanta's First Hotel 29
Atlanta House, The 30
Atlanta About 1898 89
Baptist Church, The 50
Bicycle, the High Wheel 19
Campaign Banner of 1860 12
Christian Church, The Old __. 52
Christian Church, The Present 53
Church's Band 85
Coleman House, The 30
Congregational Church, The 54
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, The 55
Gill, Richard T. 4
Gill, Richard T., Residence of 6
Hoblit Bank, The 32
Library, The Atlanta Public 35
Log Cabin at the Fair Grounds 41
Methodist Church, The Old 56
Methodist Church, The Present 57
Murphy Hall 61
St. Mary's Church 59
School House, The Old 44
School House, The Present . . 45
A Panoramic V